My early reading in preparation for my talk this weekend is emphasizing the concept of a “Grace Revolution”. As a person that claims to follow Christ, I need to understand how he lived this concept. Not just understand it with my head, but understand it with my life.
One of the problems of us Stupid Church People is that we are kind of dull (hence the name) at times. We just don’t get it! Jesus actually coined the idea of Stupid Church People in Matthew 15:16-20 when he asks his disciples, “Are you still so dull?” I love this guy! How many times have you wanted to say that in a meeting at your work?
Read all of Matthew 15 if you want to catch an enlightening glimpse of Jesus. He was so radical, so captivating, so revolutionary – a true hero really! In this passage we see him taking on the Pastors (professional religious leaders) of his day and calling them on the carpet for their legalism and rules.
Then he takes some time to teach his followers that it doesn’t matter if we offend the Pastors by what we say, especially if what we are saying is the truth. He calls them “blind guides”. Ever heard of the blind leading the blind? Sounds like many churches on a Sunday morning to me.
Then Jesus takes time out to serve. He meets a woman who’s daughter was sick. The Stupid Disciples just don’t want to be bothered by her and want to send her away. Jesus sees her faith and meets her needs. Finally in this chapter, we see Jesus reaching out to feed the hungry and oppressed people.
Grace (in truth)…grace (in leadership)….grace (in serving the sick)…. and more grace (in serving the poor)!
My American-filtered Jesus just isn’t like the one I read in Matthew 15 (and that’s just one chapter in one book). The Jesus I have been exposed to (and I might add – have taught others about) is one that gives grace as long as his hands don’t get dirty. The one that makes nice so as not to offend the people I want to impress. My American-filtered Jesus thinks that getting more people into my church programs is more important than teaching them to be involved with people that would never darken the doors of a church.
OK – that’s enough for now. None of this will probably make it into my talk this weekend. This is such a long process and so much gets cut….but this is where I am starting. Let me know what you think!