The wrong way round

Jesus seems to do everything the wrong way round. Instead of working through the ‘official channels’ he works with people on the margins of society, for example, the tax collectors and prostitutes. Instead of trying to get the rich and powerful on his side he chooses poor fishermen to be his companions. When he is looking for a role model he points to a little child. And when he finally sets out on his great campaign trail, his make or break effort to achieve his goal, he keeps talki

Yet we can glimpse immediately that his desire is not just to help the people who are poised anyway to benefit from any change that might come in society but to reach out to every single person. ‘It is not the will of your Father that any of these little ones be lost.’ Politicians are happy when they have a majority on their side and businesses compete to get a majority of customers. All this is understandable but it is good to remember that it is not the way of Jesus. He is someone who wants to scoop up the least and the very last one into his net or his sheepfold. He is not satisfied with just 99 out of 100.

Jean Vanier, the founder of communities where people live with others who are intellectually disabled, tells the story of a beautiful celebration where a disabled girl made her first communion. She overheard her uncle saying to her mother, ‘This is wonderful! What a pity Elizabeth didn’t understand a thing that was going on.’ Her mother’s eyes filled with tears but the little girl said to her: ‘Don’t worry, Mummy, God loves me just as I am.’ She understood exactly what was ‘going on.’

Such is the God that Jesus reveals: one whose reach stretches to the most lost and abandoned as well as to the rich and powerful. He wants a world where each one finds their place and each one knows that fortune and misfortune can happen anytime. The former is not necessarily for the best and the latter is not necessarily a disaster. The Irish have a saying: ‘there is no upper or lower class – only people who are up for a while and down for a while.’ It is possible to be miserable in a palace and happy in a prison. We are all in this together. – Ngomakurira

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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