I have an insider investment tip for you: Your 401(k) isn’t as solid as you think; it’s tied up in assets that have no future, so get out now. Earth, Inc. is getting taken over by New Creation Corp. It’s a done deal, but most people don’t know about it yet. In the end, New Creation will be the only stock worth owning anyway, and it’s 100% guaranteed against depreciation and theft. It’s time to start dealing in the currency of the future – Love.
Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. (14) But the temple courtyard wasn’t a place of prayer anymore; it had been turned into a tacky religious currency-exchange-slash-cattle-auction. (15) Luckily, Jesus knew how to deal with out-of-place creatures. First, he MacGyver-ed a homemade whip out of materials lying around. Then, cracking the whip over his head, he quickly herded the cattle and sheep out into the city streets (much to the consternation of the auctioneers). He pushed over the currency exchange kiosks, scattering money all over the ground. (16) To the pigeon-peddlers he said “Take your business to someplace where it belongs. This is not a mall. This is my Papa’s house.” (17) This made his friends think of something in the Bible:
Papa’s house will be my consuming passion.*
Hi, Papa. I’m so happy you’re the one who’s running things. You are wonderful to me; there’s no one quite like you. I can’t wait for the day when the whole world will know you fully and happily work at your side. But in the meantime, take care of my needs today. Help me to share in your cheerful love for me and for everyone, despite the bad choices we will make today. Help me to respond wisely to today’s little trials, so that they won’t grow into big trials for tomorrow. Help me not to believe lies today. You rock.
DAY FOUR: Jesus decided to pack up and start home to Galilee (He had a wedding to go to). That was when he met Phil:
“Come with me”
(44) Phil (and Andy and Pete) lived in Galilee too, Bethsaida to be exact. (45) He went to tell their buddy Nate:
“Dude, we found him—‘The One’ Moses and the prophets wrote about—It’s Jesus, that guy from Nazareth!”
“My dear Philip, when good things come, they are usually classy enough to come from places that aren’t Nazareth. Duh.”
“Just come see!”
(47) When Jesus saw Nate, he said:
“Ah yes, Nate! There’s a Jew who never makes you wonder what’s on his mind.”
(48) Um, do we know each other?
“Yeah, I know you. I saw you before Phil talked to you, under the fig tree.”
(49) “Whoa. Boss…it really is you—Papa’s son, Israel’s king.”
(50) “You’re impressed by the fig tree thing? You’ll see bigger things than that. (51) For real. Before we’re done, you will see through the fabric of space and time, and you will see angels going about their business across the bridge of heaven and earth—Me.
DAY THREE: John, with two of his students, (36) saw Jesus again and shouted: “Check it out—the Lamb from Papa, the One!” (37) When the students heard this, they went over to Jesus:
(38) “What’s up?” Jesus said.
“Where’s your camp, Boss? Can we come over?”
(39) “Come see.”
So they hung out with him that day, until about 4pm. (40) One of them, Andy, (41) immediately afterward ran to tell his brother Simon:
“The One! We have found him!”
(42) He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked up and said:
“You’re John’s son, Simon, right? From now on, your name is Pete.”
DAY TWO: John saw Jesus and said:
Today is the Big Announcement. The One I’ve been talking about, the Lamb provided by Papa herself, the One who breaks the back of the world’s brokenness… Here he is! Yes, that guy right there, the one with the hair!
(30) He is the one I was talking about when I said
“I come before the One who’s a bigger deal than me because he came before me.”
(31) For a long time, I myself did not know he was the One, but announcing him to you today is the one reason why I’ve been baptizing all this time.
(32) How do I know he’s the One? I saw Sarayu herself, in the form of a dove. She fluttered down to Jesus and perched on his shoulder and stayed there, like he was her new nest. (33) I was surprised as you are that it was Jesus! But when Papa sent me to start baptizing people, she told me:
“You will see Sarayu come upon someone and remain there. That someone is the One who will immerse people not into water but into Sarayu’s own infinite life-together with Papa.
(34) That is exactly what I saw happen to Jesus, so I’m telling you now: He is the One.
When the Jerusalem Religionazis asked John who he was, (20) he was very clear:
“I am not The Messiah.”
(21) “Are you Elijah?”
“Are you ‘The Prophet’?”
(22) “Well who ARE you then? We need an answer.
(23) “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
(24-25) “So you’re not the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet. Then why are you immersing people as if you are?”
(26) “I immerse people in water, and somehow that makes you think I’m a big deal. But there is someone right here in this crowd, someone you don’t know. (27) He is the Johnny Carson to my Ed McMahon. I’m not worthy to spit-polish his Nikes.”
(28) This all happened at Bethany (not Bethany the Jerusalem suburb, but the Bethany on the East bank of the Jordan), where John was immersing people in water.
This post is part of the
Week of Mutuality synchroblog
My vision of God used to be something like:
- God, the elderly white guy on the throne.
- Jesus, his trusty sidekick or assistant or secretary or something.
The point is, it was always quite clear which one was “in charge.” This was always emphasized to me as being very important—knowing who was in charge and who wasn’t. Because ultimately, humans are made in the image of God, and “being-in-charge” is super-important to God (so much so that those who don’t like it get eternally barbecued), so when I dominate other people, I am being godly. Right?
This vision of God informed my early attempts at being married, but I quickly found that didn’t work. I quickly found that what DID work was collaboration, shared responsibility, and each of us submitting to each other in different situations at different times—what my friend Rachel Held Evans is calling “MUTUALITY.”
Something I love about THE SHACK is the way Papa, Jesus & Sarayu submit to one another. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that this is just good theology, it is a vision that rings true to real life for me. I have never seen domination systems work without chewing people up—crucifying them, if you will.
What I have seen work is relationships where authority is fluid, moving from person to person under the dictates of love and wisdom and shared purpose, not according to religiously inspired pecking orders or who can pee standing up.
P.S. – Here is the ShackBible interpretive reading of a Bible text relevant to this issue:
(21) Jesus lays down his life for you and for everyone around you. To share in his glorious life is to share in his self-emptying, to put it on every day like a garment. So lay down your lives for one another; SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER. Here are some examples of what I mean:
(22) Wives, look at how Jesus lays down his life for your husband. Join him in doing that. (23) As Jesus takes care of the church, as the head takes care of the body, your husband’s job is to take care of you. (24) Receive your husband’s care for you, as the church receives care from Jesus.
(25) Husbands, look at how Jesus lays down his life for your wife. Join him in doing that. Love her like Jesus loves the church. Jesus gave himself up for her, (26) telling her the truth about herself so as to make her whole, (27) beautiful, flawless, glorious. (28) Husbands, love your wives like that. Care for her like you care for your own body. (29) Nourish and tenderly care for her, just like Jesus does for the church, (30) because we are his body.
From behind and above and before all things was The Force, surrounding us and binding us. The Force was with Papa, and The Force was God together with Papa and Sarayu (2) from the very beginning. (3) Everything that exists, came into being because The Force called it forth. (4) The Force is the beginning of aliveness, the Life that is the key that unlocks all knowledge. (5) The Force has invaded the Dark Side, and the Dark Side has lost.
(6) Papa sent a man named John (7) to tell everybody about the Force. (8) [And for the sake of those confused people out there, John himself was not the Force. Duh].
(9) The True Force, the One who illuminates everything, was entering into the world. (10) He is the origin and destiny of the universe, but the universe didn’t notice him. (11) All belong to him, but not all welcomed him.
(12) But some did welcome and learn from him. They received his true vision of reality and his ability to function in life as Papa’s beloved child—(13) because that is exactly what you are, not by human decision but because Papa has decided it for you.
(14) So REALLY—The Force really did become a guy who hung out with us. We have looked The Force in the eye, and nothing of him is now hidden from us, because we have him, Papa’s Boy, the One source and destiny of all life and all knowledge.
(15) He is the one John meant when he so clearly and non-confusingly said:
He goes beyond me because he was before me, even though he will come after me.
(16) Yes, Papa has already given us a lot. But now, in giving us the One, Papa has given us EVERYTHING. (17) Through Moses, Papa gave us Torah. Through Jesus, Papa has given us Life and Light.
(18) The only One who really knows Papa is her one and only Son, the One who lives forever inside her omnipotent bear hug. This One is taking his life of knowing-and-living-forever-with-Papa, and he is giving it to us.
Everybody here in Corinth says Hi:
- Tim (Illegal)
- Luc, Jay, and Sos (Citizens)
- (22) Tert (who is writing this letter as Paul dictates it)
- (23) Gaius (in whose house we are currently crashing)
- Erastus (who manages public works for the city)
- Brother Cort
(25) Papa is able to root you deep in open secret of Jesus—forever hidden (26) but now shouted from the rooftops by the ancient prophets—the secret that Illegals are included along with Citizens, that Illegals who believe the truth about reality will experience a renewed life. (27) May all people everywhere embrace Papa’s wisdom in this, forever through Jesus—AMEN!