Random Notes From What I’m Reading

The story of my life is the story of my faith…

The Upside-Down Empire

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“Consider the story just for the sheer poetry of it. Jesus is born to teenage peasants under questionable circumstances. His mother gets pregnant before marriage. He’s born amid the dung and straw of a stable. He’s placed in feeding trough. His brothers and sisters think he’s out of his mind, and after his first sermon in his hometown, the people he grew up with form a mob and try to kill him.And who does Jesus identify with? The outcasts, the people of the land who aren’t good enough, clean enough, wealthy enough, and pure enough to be part of the establishment. He’s invited to dine with the elite and the rich, which he does numerous times, but he also eats with the lowest of hte low – and he enjoys it. He enjoys them.He touches people with infectious skin diseases, he lets questionable women touch him, he lays his hands on dead bodies, and he engages in conversation with promiscuous women alone in the middle of the day.

His entire life is about stripping away the power and control. Jesus always chooses the path of love, not power.

Inclusion, not exclusion.

Connection and solidarity rather than rank and hierarchy.

Touch rather than distance.

Compassion rather than control.

He comes on a donkey, not a horse.

Weeping and broken, not proud and triumphant.

This path Jesus has chosen, which he continues to choose day after day, takes on some ominous undertones. He finds himself at odds with those in power. Partway through the Gospels – the accounts of his life – he starts dropping hints that this path he’s on is going somewhere. Somewhere that involves suffering and even death. His hints, which start turning into predictions, are about a conflict that he sees as inevitable. A conflict between love and controlling power.

As we read the Gospels, we find Jesus’ message putting him more and more in conflict with the religious and political leaders of his day. He’s threatening their power. This is what love does, it threatens the empires of power and control and wealth and manipulation.”

By Rob Bell in Sex God


Written by Ryan

February 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Books, Christian, Rob Bell

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