Advent Calendar Day 10: Eyes On the Prize

Let’s get heavy again.

Keep it in mind, brothers, that Jesus’ story doesn’t end with him still in that manger.  There’s liberation and radicalism and blood and prisons and whips and lynchings and slavery and destruction to come after.  Jesus’ story isn’t ended even yet.  Won’t be, until every hill and mountain’s made low and every valley exhalted.  Celebrate the birth, not of the infant, but of the man.

In the time he walked the earth, Jesus preached a total inversion of the natural order.   Preached the triumph of the meek, and the downfall of the proud.  Preached the beatitude of the humble and the downfall of the wealthy.  Preached loving your enemies, preached repaying evil with good, preached the casting aside of blades and greeting your enemies with open arms.

it is very, very important that we remember this, because the Christianity that exists in this world has been proven to adapt itself to the shape of this world, turning away from the shape of the world to come.  How can you tell the difference?  At street level.  If you see two sides to a thing, and one side’s in uniforms and the other’s in rags, or one side’s got power and the other side hasn’t, one side has more than enough and the other side less, if one side has a bloody face and the other side has bloody knuckles, well, you can tell right there in that moment which side Jesus would be standing on.

He told us himself, in fact that he was standing on that side.  “I was naked, I was hungry, I was in prison.  As you did to the least of them, you did to me.”  If that thought doesn’t send at least a small flash of righteous horror down from your lizard brain and out through your spine, I put it to you that you haven’t been paying enough attention.  Jesus paid in blood and bone so that he’d be bound into it wherever blood and bone are paid, and he rose up again afterwards so that all the other sufferers could rise up too.

Rise with him.  Never stop asking Charles Monroe Sheldon’s question, and don’t let fear nor sloth nor greed blunt the honesty with which you answer it, and act accordingly.

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