God meets us in those places of retreat and despair.
If we imagine that truth is the enemy of mystery, it is only because we live in a world that insists on “knowing” in a way that is cataloguing and possessive, that insists that what is “true” is something inert, something that can be examined from all sides and seen to hold together, something that can be exhausted.
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one,” Jesus prayed.
To do any kind of work on the Sabbath was a violation of Mosaic law and certainly pushed the bounds of the covenantal theology. The simple act of restoring this man’s wellness speaks volumes about Jesus’ priorities.
“Battlefield Sheep Formation” – when the vulnerable are threatened, the herd bands together.
Both of these men experience moments of transformation, and even though they’re dramatic and fantastical, I think we can see something of ourselves in Saul and/or Ananias.
When the church says or sings “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” It’s always in the present tense. That’s a present-tense proclamation. It’s a statement about the fierce resilience of life—how evil, how empire, how the systems, and forces that threaten to overwhelm us all did not win. Love did.
What’s that old saying, “Might makes right?” Jesus takes a different path. This righteous rule of justice and peace for which we hope does not and will not come in traditional packaging. Jesus taught us this much…
The point isn’t that we can’t reach a love like this, the point is that this love reaches for us.
In other words, change your life. Now. Live your life in such a way that it makes a difference to others around you, friend and stranger alike, especially the down-and-out, especially those who are cast aside.