I’ve been thinking of reconciliation since a conversation with a friend. To be honest, I don’t believe that I really have a handle on it yet. Also, my current thought process is highly shadowed by my reading of Brian McLaren’s, “Everything Must Change.” So heck, that might be enough for people to not read on, in and of itself!
I start with this presupposition: Things are not the way that they “should be.”
Yes, that is fraught with danger. First, its a presupposition. That would be a belief that is, and shall ever be, unsupported by proof. You can’t prove presuppositions. In a very real way, you have to faith a presupposition.
Secondly, there can be a valid problem with the idea of “should be.” The very idea of “should” means that there is something/someone over me, with authority that precedes my own desire concerning my actions. This flies in the face of current understanding of freedom, as well as my own inclination to do what I want, when I want, how I want. It goes against human nature… *deeducwatideedthar?*
Lastly, I mentioned the name Brian McLaren. To some, he is a modern day Calvin and Luther…a theological hero to the masses (that care enough to read him). To others, he’s heresy incarnate. He’s rethinking theology so much, that it is no longer good and true, according to some. To others, he’s bringing back modern theology to something that would be more pleasing to Jesus.
To finish this little post off, I’ll tell you what is in the forefront of my mind…and that is the Kingdom of God is the inverse of the Kingdom of the world. We could call it the “upside down Kingdom.” McLaren likes to speak in terms of Narrative and/or Story. Basically, that the culture of Jesus’ day (both Hebraic and Roman) had a certain narrative that they lived by. There was an under girding story which buttressed up, emphasized and helped to procreate their culture. The Hebraic and Roman narratives may seem to be very different, but if we look closer there is an even deeper narrative that they both worked under. The same can be said for us today for our culture, and every other culture on our planet. Jesus brought a narrative that was more than just different, but down right counter to the dominate narrative of the day.
This can be talked about in different ways, and has been for years. I’m sure you’re thinking of “Counter Cultural,” or perhaps as mentioned before the “Upside Down Kingdom.” This has brought back to my mind how different Jesus is from the Americana narrative that I live in. We hear a lot about change, but the basics of my life hasn’t changed under Carter/Reagan/Bush1/Clinton/Bush2 or Obama. Government is still growing, debt is still growing (personally and nationally), I’m still told that Stuff is the answer; only now the “greener” stuff is better and if you don’t like it you will be punished. See, the basic narrative is still there.
So, in regards to Reconciliation; I can only assume that Jesus speaks to it, and to us, in a way that leads to something different from that of the world. I also believe that Jesus brings something to the table that is much better, in regards to Reconciliation. However, it will not be natural for me to participate in. It will be something that probably isn’t logical, nor does it make much “common” sense. For that which is logical and common are both determined under our cultural narrative. I can be most certainly assured that any way I may try to follow Jesus in this venture will be painful and fraught with difficulties.
So, lets see where it leads.