I was reading Don Merritt’s post this morning: “Arrested”. Don is walking through Matthew and has reached the arrest of Jesus. Don wrote this:
“That was also when His disciples finally comprehended that His mission was not conquest and the reinstatement of the Nation of Israel among the Pantheon of Nations. Of course, that is not to suggest that they yet comprehended what His mission really was; that would come later. Many scholars have written that they believe this also included Judas, who might well have been shocked that those legions of angels did not come. These scholars believe that Judas betrayed Jesus to force the issue and get Jesus’ messianic mission completed more quickly, a sort of helping push in the right direction.”
And as I was thinking it over and talking to myself (as we all do) … “Pffft! Theories and more theories – always theories … !”
And what about today, Paul? What about this “saving”? What about the expectations of every single one who “gives themselves to the Lord”?
Well, Lord, maybe it was just me – but I expected to be filled with power. The power of the Holy Spirit. I was to BE the kingdom full of you. Full of love. Ready to go and get all those who still needed saving. All ready to serve. All ready to …
To do and be all that stirring stuff we get taught. All that saving the world. All that notching up godly brownie points in heaven. All that teamwork with every other Christian! All that “being on the same page.” All that being as one in one of One … !
That kind of thing.
And it was nothing like that. Nobody agrees. Everybody argues. The pecking order gets in the way. The budgets get in the way. The funding needs “need”. The “we all should agree” needs get in the way of agreeing. The “being on message” controls. The “being one of us” … That’s not what I gave myself for. I gave myself for You – not all “that”.
If I am hearing correctly … when you were “saved” you expected certain things. You expected to become an army here on earth. You expected that this army was at my command and control. That each knew their place and each fulfilled their purpose.
And how similar might that be to the disciples that night? Their expectations that I had come to set-up the kingdom here on earth, would vanquish the Roman Empire and occupying forces, would overturn the temple establishment … ? That they would have power!
I can see a couple of similarities … 🙂
Imagine if all that happened. You fight the “church establishment” right now – and that is totally fragmented. You feel uncomfortable with the spoken word and the hidden heart “sincerity gap”. You question “prayer”, you question “faith”, you question so much. Just how would you fit into this idealistic “empire and army” you expected? How would anyone? You are the kingdom. The kingdom is still that odd concept of micro-macro, instant-eternal, near-far, inclusive-exclusive, all those “either AND or – as well as the other” (that you all find so uncomfortable here).
The kingdom is not unanimous agreement. The kingdom is all those “like” stories in the bible. The stories you still don’t really get today.
That is why “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:49-53 BTW
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Don, thank you. I have never seen division as a good thing (and still don’t). But I understand better.
And I thought I understood kingdom, but I don’t as much.
And finding that there is stuff that makes no sense BUT makes “perfect sense” … is what makes this journey so much fun!
“And finding that there is stuff that makes no sense BUT makes “perfect sense” … is what makes this journey so much fun!”
Paul… I think you’ve got it!
I love the bouncing connections he invites.
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