Saturday, November 5, 2011

The System....

I awoke to a familiar sound this morning. The familiar sound Monday through Friday is cereal clinking the bowl as it's being poured, Channel 10 news (to hear the weather just one more time), coffee being brewed, and family shuffling off to school....wife included. But this....this is Saturday! And every Saturday I wake up to one familiar sound...fighting. Fighting? Yes, fighting over the dreaded Video Game line up. "And Batting first..." This is the actual problem; my boys are fighting over who should be first. They don't get to play during the school week, for obvious reasons. So every Saturday they wake up early, which is funny since I have to pull them out of bed during the week day, and see who plays first. So this morning, I wake up to the sounds of mean spirited arguing...can you relate?

Today,something was epiphany. A late night bible reading was about to shine forth like the shimmery shine coming through my window. The death of fall brings about the extra color of life....and I had the parable for the early morning.

My epiphany came in large part from Michael Card's book, "Luke, the Gospel of Amazement". It is an imaginative commentary on the Gospel of Luke. It's a must have. He records in Luke 22:7-30 the argument of the disciples about who is the greatest. And then you ask..."Which argument?" Well, this is the one where the backdrop is the last supper. What is funny about this conversation is not what is said but what is missing. In Card's book, he points out that the washing of the disciples feet is not recorded. In fact, none of the synoptic gospels record this event. Only John records this event, years after the other Gospels are written. It takes the one who is most intimate with bring out what was most humilating to Christ.

This living parable was definitely not seeker sensitive. In Roman times, you never saw a statue of a god in a kneeling form...not because it would signify they were worshiping something, but it was only that a slave took that position. Luke, who might have been a slave himself, might not have deemed it nescarry to record such a controversial move.

Nevertheless, Card states that maybe Christ was finally exhausted with words in trying to communicate servant-hood over their consistent foolish argument on "who is the greatest" needed a living parable. There is so much more to write on this but I have to get back to my own living parable.

As I lay in bed and my boys come to my room, I tell them to go to the kitchen table...since this is where most parables are thrown-down, it would make a great early morning breakfast meal...."Parable O's anyone?"

So I read them the story and give them my late night revelation. What happened next was something I could not have even asked for...but it's not what you think.

Wesley says, "We need a System! Give us an order of playing and then we don't have to fight". Then, it dawned on me...we always want a system. Now, I am not saying that this was not a logical idea or even a good idea. I wouldn't have to hear fighting on Saturday morning and maybe I could have those extra thirty minutes of sleep I keep looking for. But this was not the first thing that went through my mind....

We can either be slaves to a system that tries to legislate a heart, or kneel in worship to a God who "didn't make equality something to be grasped, but took the form of a slave".

Will the system tell you what to do today? Or can you take a few minutes out to gaze at the slave who changed the "rules" once and for all.