Wednesday, February 04, 2004

the long way around

It has dawned on me that Jesus always took the long way around. When moving through the Promised Land from Jerusalem to Galilee and back again, he didn't have to go through Samaria. But he did. And there he changed a town through the witness of a promiscuous woman getting water at noon. Lives are changed on the long way around.

He came as the Messiah. But never took a shortcut. He could have turned all the stones into bread, this would have fed every hungry person in the country. But instead he took two loaves and asked his twelve delinquent disciples to pass them out to the crowd. Miracles happen on the long way around.

He could have been handed all of the kingdoms of the world. He could have ended Roman oppression and greed. He could have led an uprising, and the people would have followed him, just as they followed the many revolters before him. He would have been called the messiah king in line for the Davidic throne. Instead, he submitted to the guards and was arrested. Beatings happen on the long way around.

He had the command of angels. He could have jumped off the top of the Temple and had a thousand angels to catch him. It would have been like body surfing at a concert. He would have been heralded as the priestly messiah. He would have righted the wrongs which were ramped in the priestly circles. He could have offered a new religious system full of mercy and justice. Instead, he offered himself, nailed to a cross. Death is waiting on the long way around.

I think about the temptation of revolution. I always want to rebel or revolt against the status quo. I seem to think that doing this by force is the most efficient and most effective way to go. I don't want to heal hurting churches. I want to plant new ones. I don't want to repair damaged denominations, I want to free myself from them. I don't want to stay in relationships with people who are so different from me. I want to make new friends. I don't like the tension and struggle of unanswered questions. I want the right answers and I want others to have them too.

I don't want to see change happen through submission. I don't want the agent of renewal to be sacrifice. I don't want to go the long way around. I want change to happen now, and I want to take it by force. I want a shortcut. I want the freeway. I want the speed limit to be 75mph so I can go 85mph without getting a ticket.

I am sure I would make a great revolutionary. I will be a great church planter. I make a terrible messiah, and an even worse disciple.


Post a Comment

<< Home