I had one of those moments in the car yesterday… my six-year-old is rifling thru my CD’s and holds up Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason and asks, “Um, Dad. Can we listen to this one?” Somehow thru tears of pride I choked out,” Oh, yes son, we can.”
I love that album, because you see, I also love to hear the gospel, no matter who’s sharing it at the time. Listening to that album back in ’88 was my introduction to the song On the Turning Away… these days I also have a concert version of it on the album, Delicate Sounds of Thunder. That song captures the heart of Jesus so perfectly when he’s announcing his life’s dream (and God’s desire) of making the world a better place for the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed. (Luke 4:14-21)
The CD was still in this morning as I drove to work so I skipped over to track 5 and dug on it again… have you ever really thought of all the power structures and systems that Jesus just ignored? He could have gone after the Roman political structure… the church did after only a few hundred years, but not Jesus. Jesus didn’t need political backing.
On the opposite of the political spectrum he ignored the cause of the zealots who fought Roman power… Jesus didn’t bother with being an anti-establishment activist.
Jesus also ignored a highly organized and earnest Jewish religious establishment… even though he seemed to have several Pharisees who believed and followed him. At different times you can almost get the feeling that if he had just toned down a little of the rhetoric, stopped talking about the poor and disenfranchised so much, and focused more on the average person’s sins and on being good Jews a little more, he could have gone far.
But then, he never really left the whole Jewish system behind either… always at the Temple, always at the feasts, always reminding people of the heart and intent of the Law.
What do we often do today? We strive in the opposite directions… we crave political power and political results, either left or right of the aisle. We might even proudly go guerilla activist in defiance of the powers that be. We seek opinion leaders in culture and woo them or pay them big bucks for motivational speeches. We bow to religious systems and build empires based on the potency, or lack of, in these theocracies.
While Jesus preaches good news to the least likely to receive any.
I’m actually in a good mood today… for reals. I hope you don’t think I’m ranting in a morose fit of depression. I guess I’m just feeling a little out of touch with Jesus’ folks. I haven’t spent much time lately with the disenfranchised, defeated, disheartened and dispossessed. My bad.
Peace, y’all! Todd