Monday, November 10, 2008

Matthew 25:14-30

This passage hinges on the word "afraid". The third "slave" (which is an important starting context) is claimed to be afraid. It is this quality that is then used as a reason for their behavior and eventual dismissal to an outer region.

I'm not in a research place right now to look at alternatives, but suspect that when one has the power to banish, any resistance is going to be claimed as coming from a place of fear. Masters use fear to control and then blame those who stand up to them as fearful. It's a destructive self-referential circle.

Here are three questions that provide an opening through which we can poke at the judgmental character of these end-of-the-year stories:

1) By what means might a slave be expected to double their money?

2) Is not an advantaged slave still a slave?

3) Is not a slave already in a place of darkness?

See this passage through the lens of a fairy-tale with the third telling bringing a needed breakthrough. The benevolent, giving master is now revealed as greedy and demanding. Surely there is a better place to end the year than with the gnashing of teeth.

1 comment:

  1. I conveniently neglected to deal with the problematic nature of yesterday's parable (the bridesmaids not sharing the oil!), a fact which was not lost on at least one attendee! "I just didn't go there!" I smiled, blithely.

    Thanks for challenging me to go and do otherwise.

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