Jesus sends out the twelve – Matthew 10
And tells us how to be a Christian: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.”
If I am “sending out” something or someone I give either myself or the something / someone a reason to take that first step – then the second – then the third.
If I (list any achievements you want to achieve) – then I should (list anything you think important) – so that this (add all the consequences you want to happen – and don’t want to happen) happens.
And I will find loads of good reasons when that “sending out” really freaks me out.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
What were the consequences of “the twelve being sent out”? Their quick or eventual deaths. We still do that “sending out” stuff today: Remembrance Day … Veterans Day … an oath of allegiance … even “till death do us part” day …
I read much that assumes being a Christian today comes with all those same hazards.
In a country that has adopted Christianity as its official faith … denominations up and down the country openly advertise their wares … use social media to reach their audience … with the core beliefs embedded in our national anthem whose opening line is: “God save our gracious Queen.”
I think what is being referred to is a slight embarrassment at being thought of as one of “The God Squad” … a holy roller … a goody-two-shoes … A small discomfort in “coming out of the closet” or not – and the perceived consequences of both.
Or maybe that is just me and my way of seeing things.
Sliced and diced into four neat intellectual Greek quarters: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. The merits of each endlessly debated to find acceptable scriptural fear in “the greatest of these”.
Did Jesus mean “agápe, éros, philía, or storgē?” It is important that we do not confuse that one with this one. Because that one is only appropriate in this circumstance – but does not apply to that circumstance.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
Paul, why all this eternal classification and compartmentalising of love?
If you love one more than another, one less than another – what does that say about you? If you decide who you will love more and who less – then is that “love” at all? If you calculate “sending out your love” – what is it you expect back? And if a return is expected – how is that “love”?
If you love your father or mother more than you love another – if you justify loving this more than that – justify not loving this or that … ? Why?
I have never been “pissed” at the bible rewriting – that is your journey and your growth. How could I ever be “pissed” at that? It is the finding evidence for being right to fear what you fear. That saddens me.
Like love. Without condition – without four neat boxes – without anything added at all.
Because when “love” always was and still is (read your bible) just one more “Godly Mystery” of intellectual slice and dice …
I see the consequences.