Pentecost +6 – Year A
How sad when we get caught in the position of being determined by another. Whether this determination is by person, institution, or god, it is always a set-up for revolution. The seed of destruction of a positive value is found in its attempt to claim ultimacy or requirement of obedience.
Have no fear of those who are not in on the joke of creation. They can do damage while stumbling about containing laughter, but eventually even they will come see sparrow and head hair and peace-offerers as sisters and brothers of their own time in paradise and chuckle at both the similarities and differences.
With that aside, back to being determined. Is Jesus really so limited that he has no choice but to promote those who pat him on the back and demote those who challenge him? How about yourself? Is that a teacher at work or a ideologue program trying to test students into improvement?
An argument can be made that this statement attributed to Jesus runs contrary to his larger vision of taking up a cross, regardless of how others respond. It is at this point that a choice is put before us. Will we continue in some judgment process or some faithful action process?
So, whether we are currently up to it or not, this is practice time to move away from hierarchies of student disciples and teacher messiahs or of differing economic strata.
The practical implication here is that it is more important to act from what we understand in whispers (an expansive and expanding love is our key insight) than what others are shouting after us (do "this" and I'll come; do "that" and I'll give).