Thought for the Day: The last thing Jesus ever intended to do was to create a new religion. Now that I’ve made that statement, I cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, my statement will not hold up in a court of law. Yet so much of Jesus’ ministry was spent pushing back against religion in hopes of creating space where something new could emerge. For Jesus, it was never about an adherence to a set of doctrines or rules, but an invitation into a way of living. Jesus was not opposed to faithful practices, rituals and traditions, assuming they did not become an end in and of themselves. When they do, faith collapses in on itself and becomes more obsessed with the protection of itself at any cost. The religion then uses power and fear as its tools of protectionism. Once someone is sucked into the worldview of that religion, it is difficult to imagine the radical alternative Jesus was suggesting. The accusation by the Pharisees sounds rather pious (Why are you breaking the Sabbath law?). Yet it is an example of how religion enjoys creating a false dilemma. In the end, people are left feeling as if there was only one answer on the test, and they did not have the correct one. Jesus didn’t attempt to answer the trick question put forth by the Pharisees. Instead, he told a story about King David. Stories rise above the nonsense of religion and invite people onto a journey of discovery. Be cautious of any religion with all the answers and a mandate of adhering to some set of arbitrary rules. All of it usually ignores the only rule Jesus seemed interested in: the rule of love.
Prayer: You came to liberate through love, O Gracious One, and invite us into the life-giving journey modeled in Jesus. Give us the courage to leave behind those seeking to create a system of certainty, for we wish to be swept up in the joy of your Spirit. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge