Sunday, May 21, 2023
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
The people who hanged Christ never accused him of being a bore—on the contrary; they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Jesus with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him “meek and mild,” and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand. True, Jesus was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before Heaven; but Jesus insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; Jesus referred to King Herod as “that fox”; he went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a “gluttonous man and wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners”; he assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple; he drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; he cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people’s pigs and property; he showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when confronted with neat dialectical traps, he displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and he retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by a rule of thumb. Jesus was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either. But he had “a daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,” and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without him. So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness. —Dorothy Sayers, The Greatest Drama.
Awaken my faith. Let it be loud. Let it not be just peace and quietness, but instead give me a faith raw with the possibility of shattering the expectations of this world. Awaken me to Christ who dwells with radical generosity and earth-shaking table-turning power in our midst. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster