not very Christian

Mar 3, 2024

 

Unpleasant or disruptive behaviour is often thought of as unchristian behaviour. But perhaps this highlights a common misunderstanding of what it is to be a disciple of Jesus.

The disciple of Jesus is one who listens to Jesus which means that we don’t simply copy his behaviour, but discern his calling to us in our present reality.

However, as a starting point, it’s helpful to recall the full breadth of the words and behaviour of Jesus. When we do this we realise that Jesus could never be called nice or pleasant given that his words and behaviour were often unpleasant and disruptive.

It has been said that the evidence in Jesus ministry is that he came to bring comfort to the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.

There are many gospel texts in which Jesus speaks harshly to unreceptive people calling them hypocrites, brood of vipers, fools, whitewashed tombs, faithless and dishonourable to suggest a few examples.

Then in today’s gospel Jesus angrily turns over the traders’ tables in the temple.

To presume that Jesus always takes the polite or (at the other extreme) the controversial approach is to miss our need for discernment in every situation. This discernment is not an asking what would Jesus do but instead a direct conversation with Jesus in the moment: Jesus, what are you nudging me to say or not say, calling me to do or not do in my circumstances here and now.

We then discover that without an intimate relationship with Jesus, God-with-us, we fall victim to every fleeting motivation. Without this relationship we become for our world a reactive presence rather than an original presence.

In a conversation with a friend yesterday, chatting about today’s gospel, he suggested that too often we avoid or overturn the tables we need to sit at, and sit at the tables we are called to overturn.

+++

FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.

Join these gatherings:

TODAY Sunday 3 March 2024 (& every Sunday) 12 noon. St Anthony’s Church, 66 Falkirk Ave, SeatounKim

Monday 4 March 2024  10.00am (& every Monday). Moku Cafe. Bush Inn Centre, Waimairi Road,  Christchurch. Trish

Tuesday 5 March 2024 10.00am 316 Waiwhetu Road (California Garden Centre) Lower Hutt. Catherine

Email me to add another: john@fff.org.nz

5 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s got me thinking:
    What ‘tables’ am I sitting at?

    Reply
  2. Me too. Powerful words so succinctly written. Thankyou.

    Reply
  3. A real good head- shaker today. . Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Everyone is afraid of offending the Muslim faith because they know it will draw a reaction.
    No one is afraid of offending the Christian faith and do so daily, as they know it will not.
    We are in decline, they are not.

    Reply
  5. A different thought today. Very refreshing. I will sit at the FFF table in the restaurant if my choice some time soon. Watch this space
    Christine Harvey Timaru

    Reply

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