an uncomfortable gospel


The following is a post by Seth, my amazing husband.  ———-

I wish Jesus would have said, “it is easier for a camel to walk into heaven than for a rich man to walk through the eye of the needle.” Then, we could all move to the middle east and hitch a ride with the nearest caravan.

I wish Jesus would have said only “love the Lord your God with all your mind and strength.” Then, doctrine and moral uprightness would justify our exclusivity, our honor for a good Pharisee.

I wish Jesus would have said “render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesars and leave a tenth for me.” Then, by my estimation, I’d get to keep about sixty-five percent of my honest-day’s wage.

I wish Jesus would have said, “go give your pops a proper funeral before you follow me.” Then, I could hold out until my dad dies.

I wish Jesus would have said, “unless you eat a cracker and drink some unfermented grape juice once every four months or so, you have no life in you.” Then ritual would take the place of metaphor, making my Sunday mornings much more appetizing, though admittedly less intoxicating.

I wish Jesus would not have said, “if any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sister, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Then, I could continue to elevate country, politics, holy wars, and my opinion of each over the homesickness of faith.

This space is difficult and uncomfortable. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot stretch myself thread-thin. I am part of a people. And we are all trapped between earth and the eye of a very small needle.

amberhaines
About me

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7 Comments

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply June 24, 2010

"Then, I could continue to elevate country, politics, holy wars, and my opinion of each over the homesickness of faith."

These words make me ache. His good news is uncomfortable indeed.

joann
Reply June 24, 2010

i love this. i'm reading the sermon on the mount right now. sometimes I have to leave, walk away from the words. they. are. hard.

    Amber
    Reply June 24, 2010

    Kelly, that's the line that sticks in my throat, too.

    Joann, I've been reading the Sermon on the Mount for weeks. I can't get away from it. He says that "Lord! Lord!" won't cut it. Obedience is required. It's hard, but in these things is the freedom I'm looking for. It's an amazing paradox - all of it - this spirit/flesh life we live.

Melissa Multitasking Mama
Reply June 24, 2010

Truth, truth in all those words! Shouting amen to the computer screen!

Jenn
Reply June 24, 2010

our faith is like the marathon you mentioned in the previous post Amber - part way in, we are bound by our human-ness to ask "just why did I agree to do this?" It hurts.

Amber2
Reply June 25, 2010

Thanks for another great post. It is a good reminder to me to read again and again the words of the gospel, the words of Christ and awe and marvel at the mystery that makes Jesus bigger and stronger.

To fight the chains of "religion" that makes him smaller and weaker in my mind.

    Seth
    Reply June 25, 2010

    At some point, I'll know I've arrived when I can communicate the call of Christ like you have done. You're on my reading list. You're words profoundly changed my wife.

    I am grateful.

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