Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lent Bible Challenge | Day 21
March 20

What does it mean to follow Jesus?  The 12 reorient their lives and move outwards like concentric circles through the context of ancient Palestine.  It doesn't seem to simply be a matter of walking behind, passively listening to Jesus. Nor is it simply living in repetition, asking oneself what would Jesus do?  Rather it's moving ahead - in community - to do what Jesus commanded.  I seems like we often get that wrong, or at least mixed up - calling and following Jesus as a puppeter, or a dictator, or a benevolent and absent dictator, a BFF, wise teacher (yet who didn't seem to really get the intrixacies of modern daily life) or as a God-head who doesn't get our hypocrisy, confusion or delusion.  What moved those 12 to give their lives - to reorient them so radically - and in most cases to die for following and then surpassing on a certain level their master?

The feeding of the 5,000 illustrates another aspect of this.  Miracle or miracles, metaphor for the whole purpose, passion and perspective of Jesus.  Was it merely a story?  Was it a miracle of bread being created from nothingness?  Was it a miracle of sharing: Jesus bringing solidaritous order to a chaotic one-for-all context of hunger?  Whatever option you choose - the narrative lifts up the fact that Jesus: 1) feeds the hungry, 2) gathers the hungry, 3) transforms their situation of hunger, 4) not only empower, but demands, that those that follow him address that hunger.  So what does that mean for us today?

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