Jesus’ unconditional love and respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, his prophetic ability to call out the systemic injustices of the socioeconomic and political norms of his time, and his absolute adherence to active nonviolence as the only way to confront the physical, emotional, and spiritual violence of fear-driven systems based on power and greed provide the essential model for the Beloved Community.
A Flashback Friday post In Matthew’s gospel Jesus teaches a series of brief parables that include some variation of the phrase, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed seed. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of yeast. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a … Continue reading The Kingdom of Heaven is like Antonina’s Kitchen
In nearly every context where I’ve studied this story or heard it taught or preached, the assumption is made that “we” (Christians) are the wheat, and “they” (non-Christians) are the weeds. But what we fail to consider in that assumption is that nobody in Jesus’ original audience was a Christian. Jesus was preaching to first century Palestinian Jews who were deeply entrenched in their Jewish heritage.
The more I try to love people I don’t like, the more I find out that it’s not just hard. It’s actually costly. It requires something of me, something sacrificial.
It was as if their leaders, the ones who claimed God’s truth, who called them to follow God’s law, who confidently declared who was “in” and who was “out,” didn’t really know God at all.