On the cross, we see an immense miracle—the death of God. As long as we refuse to follow Christ into this humility and forgiveness, our world’s history will be violent, and our personal stories will be identities defined by conflict and opposition.
In the Christian tradition, Jesus is seen as the summary of every imaginable image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and at the crucifixion, this ultimate image of the unseen passes away in death. At the resurrection, it’s interesting that the image or appearance of Jesus is fluid and continuously shifting.
The “age of the resurrection” is one that completely dissolves the false image of a God that uses a “blessing and curse system” in which certain people are “blessed” because they have received children, prosperity, health, etc. while others are arbitrarily left out of that blessing or even cursed with tragedy.
As long as one remains exclusively in his or her “group,” he or she will never grow past the tenets of the tribe’s echo chamber. The call of Jesus challenges us to leave the neighborhood of our patriotism, religious affiliation, and family loyalties, and go outward to what’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable: “following Jesus outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
It seems there is a dialogue in the New Testament surrounding spiritual formation in becoming Christlike. One voice urges the follower to emulate Christ’s footsteps and virtues through willful discipline, while the other voice advocates that it’s the reality of the indwelling Spirit that forms Christ within us. In other words, we don’t become someone else: we become the child of God we’ve always been, “before the creation of the world.”
The Widow and the Judge: A Reflection by David Morrison Gospel Reading: Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow…
Kingdomtide 2013: Week of October 13 Gospel Reading: As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said,…