Friday, June 27, 2008

Doing Other People's Homework, Part Two

(Once again, as the prime mover behind putting together our church's book of meditations for Lent 2009, I'm covering for people who've already missed two deadlines. I suppose, if they come through, that this will be the only place that people will see this writing. Oh, well.)

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2009

John 8:12-20 Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness.

Imagine Jesus running for office in Cobb County. Asked for his program, he says, "I am the light of the world." Asked for specifics, he says, "Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness." Asked why we should trust him, he says, "I bear witness to myself."

Instead of a program, Jesus offers a vision of how to live with courage that comes of knowing what matters and what doesn't. He sees past the fears and group identifications that motivate the parties of his day. He attends to the individual. In the previous chapter alone, he scandalizes one party by saying that Sabbath regulations matter less than making one man "whole," and he shields a sinful woman from a crowd of self-appointed enforcers of the Ten Commandments -- before telling her to go and sin no more.

At St. James, judging by bumper stickers where we park, our politics and group identifications are all over the lot. We're for Democrats, Republicans, animal rights, gun rights, fair tax, public radio, talk radio, Georgia and Georgia Tech. We drive Hybrids and SUVs.

Does it seem strange that people of such diverse views share one bread, one cup, at one church? I take that as a sign that we are willing to put aside the world's agendas and judgments. We come to church for spiritual refreshment, to touch base with what matters and what lasts, so that we can go out into the world and be Jesus to people who are not like us.

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