Monday, March 09, 2009

Lent Bible Challenge | Day 11
March 9
Luke 5:12-39

Jesus is first and foremost relational. If we take serious the declarations he makes concerning his unity with God the Father and his revealing and testifying to who and how that God is, then we have to conclude that God the creator is also relational at his core. Jesus heals the leper, commanding him to obey the law and present himself to the temple authorities to give thanks to God for his restorative wholeness. Jesus is about that man, about making him whole, restoring him to the gift and vocation of human community (since he was banned and excluded from him according to the laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus because of his leprosy). He's not trying to overturn a system as the Pharisees later charge in his response to healing the parapligic or the crowd might assume when he accepts in radical friendship a treasonous tax collector, or we might conclude with the statement about the impossible patchwork-ability of old and new. Faith - Christian Faith - is first and foremost about people, relationships, human dignity and reciprocity.

Leadership writer Margaret Wheately bases her work on conclusions drawn from modern chaos theory and emerging scientific vision: “We know from science that nothing in the universe exists as an isolated or independent entity. Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone” We are relational beings, and if created in the image of God that's our essence, vocation and in the end what will become our final consummation at the end of time. It's who we are. It's what we try to suppress in our economic, political and social systems we create seeking to lift up the powerful against the little, to oppose the haves and have nots. Why are we - like the Pharisees - so often against what we are? Why do we so often betray our relational nature for a quick fix or solution to problems at hand?

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