Surrounded by grandchildren as we are, I love how they see “stuff” I no longer see in the world we both inhabit. I love how our grandchildren ask questions devoid of any “agenda”, just as I love asking questions.
“Jesus spoke to the crowds, “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” “ Matthew 11:16-19
I read these words and see “Agenda” plastered all over them.
John did not live-up to the expected appearance and behaviour of a religious prophet. Jesus did not live-up to the expected appearance and behaviour of a religious prophet (and most certainly not the Promised Messiah)!
“Live-up to” is a clue. “Religious” is another. “Expected” another. “Appearance” … “Behaviour” … “Of A” … “Most Certainly Not” …
All just “teensy-weensy words” that are a code – that bang in the nails (ever so politely). That raise the cross high (but ever so delicately). That sit below enjoying the show (but ever so discretely). Or, to put it another way, that “play politics”.
Which has nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with making myself look good (to get what I want) – whilst making you look bad (to get what I want).
Our grandchildren have no agenda. They have not learned that particular thought process, premise and skill yet. But they will. We all do. We all learn how to get our own way eventually.
Some become the victim. Others the abuser. Some become the manipulator. Others the power behind the throne. And some even achieve the throne itself. But, as all who do find out – you only sit on the throne until someone takes it from you. And that old saying “You can keep some of the people happy some of the time …” is a truth (so far better to work from behind the throne and out of sight).
I find the questions I ask nowadays often hit “agenda” – because maintaining the status-quo is an agenda. The status-quo suits many whereas change does not – change unsettles the status-quo and agenda bites back (ever so politely).
“Once you understand how things work around here … “ or “Once you become a mature Christian … “ or “We have a committee to look at those sort of questions … “ and then the killer (polite) punch: “We should all pray about this and see … “
I think we all read the bible and the words of Jesus and place ourselves on the side of wisdom – whilst belittling the foolishness of the “Pharisees”.
I think we all “oooh” and “aaah” over the Baby Jesus and see God In Nappies and assume we get it – where the Pharisees did not.
We all “get” church on a Sunday (where we hear of the Pharisees who made the Temple an industry) – and never think that is Church today.
Like Christmas complete with two public holidays to celebrate a religious “event”. And then two more public holidays when Easter celebrates another.
The politicians of this country decree (with the blessing of Church) that this religious “event” stops the secular machinery of government and finance and industry working for two days. The Pharisees also called this a good thing. And yet we sit with Jesus and dismiss the Pharisees?
Isn’t that replacing one agenda with another?