Do you ever think to yourself, 'I wish things were a bit different... I wish there was another way of living...'?
It's easy to look around the world and get really depressed. When we hear about teenagers stabbing each other to death. Or about domestic abuse. Or Robert Mugabe's reign of terror in Zimbabwe.
But I believe that there is another way.
In the New Testament, in the book of Matthew, 4:17, Jesus goes public, he starts out his life in the public eye, by saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near". This is big. OK, maybe the language is a bit out of date, doesn't mean so much now, but put it this way: "Change - change the way you think, turn around, live differently. There's another way of doing things, and it's God way of doing things - and it's here and now, it's close. So close, you can reach out and touch it. Look for it and you'll see it. It's heaven on earth."
What Jesus was about was God's way of doing things - the Revolution of God, as Brian McLaren would say. It's about turning the way the world is, and does things, on its head. It's about God working into reality his big dream for his world.
With those opening words, Jesus was telling the world about God's dream, and at the same time, inviting anyone with whom it resonated to join in - to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
That's what Jesus wants. He doesn't want to just make my life or your life better. He wants the world to change. The individual has to change, to be changed. And the community. And the system which allows, which perpetuates evil. That has to change too. If we're up for that, then it means following Jesus, learning from him, becoming like him.
That's what I live for.
Ron Rolheiser on ATHEISM AND BELIEF...
1 week ago