Monday, March 16, 2009

Lent Bible Challenge | Day 17
March 16
Luke 7:36-50

Jesus nearly tells a parable about a bail-out to the Pharisees who've invited him for dinner to feel him out to see which team he's playing for: theirs or against them. In comes the woman - who remains nameless, faceless, nearly anonymous - except for what the religious leaders - of the public face of religion - insists upon - her morally dubious and well-known past actions as not just a harlot, but the town harlot. Jesus favors her, having a preferential option for the poor, excluded, marginalized and anonymous. She is the one who is saved, or made whole, by her faith as opposed to the boasting and morally self-aggrandizing faith of the pharisees. How often do we - as the church - react in the same way? Offering simply black and white stereotypical platitudes about morality instead of addressing the meat of the grey morally ambiguous challenges and ethical exclusions that we face in our society? I think that's what Jesus was all about, yet we as the church have somehow come to embrace cultural wars and liberal vs. conservative ideological battles as opposed to embracing a radical re-definition and affirmation of what it means to be human in relationship with each other, ourselves and the creator.

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