By: Jocelyn Perry
With the recent uprising in Egypt and the current protests in Wisconsin, the playbook for “struggle” is being tested. The paradigm of institutionalized oppression is being challenged with direct-action based on peaceful resistance. We as people of faith also must continue challenging the structures that keep us from growing into the “Body of Christ” as we are called to become. As “transforming our swords into plowshares” answers the question of how to practice transformational struggle, the Gospel story of loaves and fishes gives us a model for challenging conventional economics. But we have fear. Our fear of clearly listening to the needs of others and to our own hearts hold us back from bending our knee, sitting in the grass, and giving thanks and sharing. We are scared of Scarcity.
John 6:10-13 tells us, “Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand people were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”
By: Ric Hudgens
At the beginning of the twentieth century it was theologian Karl Barth who first raised the question of a domesticated God: a God tamed, confined, and muted by humanity’s drive to control and domination. Only a few years later Europe saw that the progressive domestication of God did not lead to freedom but to the furnace and the gulag—not to the heavenly city of the eighteenth century Enlightenment philosophers, but to the hell of the twentieth century totalitarians.
The church has been just as afraid of an undomesticated, wild God as the world has been. When Moses heard the voice of the Lord in the desert at Sinai and asked for a name he was told, “I will be who I will be”—deal with it! When Jesus tried to talk about the basileos of God he had to reach for verbal and enacted parables because this movement’s exact outlines could never be fully anticipated. When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost the early church began an unpredictable “wild goose” chase, starting new Jesus-communities everywhere they were led.
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