When one looks at the world, certain facts are obvious. When the facts are presented by someone in authority one often accepts, believes, and acts without question. Recognizing the opposite end of this spectrum is anarchy, I would like to suggest our acceptance of the truth may not be consistent with doing what is right, or achieving our missions, or in fact ultimate true truth. The expressions are merely one person’s viewpoint, expressed with confidence, which seems to be accurate.
The challenge before us is simple; compassion, mercy, and love are not always consistent with what the world hold’s to be true, valuable, and, by actions, most important. The conflict lies at the heart in the tension between process and results. Is “why” I do something more important than “what” I do? Does the context of my actions matter? Are people more important than results? Yes, yes, and yes!
Historically Jesus was the odd man out in Jewish society. He was a threat to those in power. He challenged the norm and the traditions that came along with it. He seemed unaccountable for his actions because nobody could apparently control him. When somebody said, “Can't you see that it's to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” (John 11.50) Most believed the statement to be fact. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now.
I believe we, you and I, are responsible for our decisions. We live in a world filled with traditions, norms, and even frameworks of reference. Each can be helpful. They can provide insights. They are trusted guides. At the same time they are not rules we are obligated to live by. We need to discover and own the values and priorities we hold close to our heart. In a time where people are dying for lack of basic necessities, it is time to reexamine our traditional approaches in responding to others in need. In a time where children are being denied hope, we should take a fresh look. This should be obvious, isn’t it?
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