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“Jesus is cutting to the heart of this with his parable. In the kingdom of God, in this kin-dom as we say, this reign of God’s is a reversal of what our world values. Maybe it takes on different shapes and styles over the course of 2,000 years, but in the end we’re still competing, still trying to be loved.”
Jesus invites us to join him in the hard work of true, positive peacemaking in our world. To do this, we have to notice and name the things that debilitate us and those around us. We have to reach out to touch and heal each other. This will absolutely be uncomfortable. This will absolutely lead to tension. This will absolutely disturb the false, negative peace that those of us in positions of privilege idolize. Will we join Jesus anyway?
Throughout the gospels, we see that Jesus’ ministry is one of peace. And throughout the gospels, we also see that Jesus’ peaceful ministry constantly causes division. Jesus’ words and actions rarely bring people together, instead, they force them to make a decision, pick a side. And I think this is what Jesus is getting at in our text for today: that peacemaking is not the same thing as peacekeeping.
“It’s past time that we start listening to the slave girl. And to all the people we have silenced and rushed past for years, for centuries, for millennia. Does that mean we kick Paul and our traditional heroes to the curb? No, of course not. But it does mean that sometimes, as with all of our ancestors of the faith and of the flesh, we have to learn from their mistakes.”