Journal entry, February 14, 2013:The picture we get of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is of an itinerant, going around gathering those who will join him in a revolutionary way of doing life that he calls “the kingdom of God.” The “kingdom of God” is not some place out in the heavens, nor is it a place some go to when they die. This “kingdom of God” is a radical rearrangement of how we see God, ourselves and everyone else that leads to a radical rearrangement of how we do life in the here and now. It’s a radical rearrangement of how human beings arrange their society that is “of God” or “from” God . . . to us . . . through this person Jesus. To enter THIS is entirely revolutionary. It is a radical break with life as we have known it, as it has been given to us, as we have been told, as we have been instructed is the natural way of life. It is a call to go against how we have been indoctrinated, to go against the scripts we have been handed, the rules we have been given on how to play the game. (Personal rights, tit or tat, etc.) To “follow Jesus” is to break with all of that, and say, “I want to live by an entirely different evaluation of what is important.” It’s radical. It’s revolutionary.
Today, Jesus is still extending the ongoing invitation to join his revolution. He is looking for those who are weak but daring, afraid but believing, unsure but willing to take a risk, people who are simply crazy enough to go for it with him. To follow Jesus and live the Jesus way is the most revolutionary thing a human being can do. It’s not about a ticket to go to heaven. (How boring, tame, and domesticated.) It’s not about saying a simple prayer, going to church once a week and then simply going back to the way things have always been done. To follow Jesus IS radical and revolutionary. It is to adopt a completely counter intuitive way of doing life called The Way, of which Jesus is the template. The “kingdom of God,” rightly understood, is an alternate society formed around Jesus and his teachings. It’s about leaning to follow the Jesus practice of love, forgiveness, restorative justice, mercy, and fidelity to self-sacrificial, other-centeredness.
We are too skilled at taming revolutions and making them conventional. Too skilled at turning things like the sermon on the mount into a blasé blessing of the conventional life we’ve always known.
“The Seeds of revolution will always be present as long as the Jesus story is always around, and you just never know when someone might leap.” – Brian Zahnd
Today Herb, love subversively and dedicatedly. Don’t wax cold, till a world where love reigns is the only world that remains. Vive la resistance. LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION!