crumbs from your table.

i cannot begin to tell you how much i have enjoyed my life of Christ class this semester. at first thought, i was sure this course would reenforce all of the sunday school truths i learned as a kid, and that there wouldn’t be many further earth-shattering revelations for me to discover. there are few times when i rejoice at being wrong; this is one of them. :]
i am amazed at how laying out the synoptic Gospels next to each other, one by one, has peeled my eyes to the intracacies of the Word. have you ever stopped to consider why luke included the shepherds in his nativity scene? or why matthew’s temptation account differs in order from luke’s? or why mark didn’t narrate the temptation at all? these are just a few of the characteristics of each writer i have been exposed to, and i proclaim in full honesty that i have never before been so intrigued and mystified by the Word of God. and i’m just scratching the surface!
during yesterday’s class period, we were once again asked to consider the following question: why did Jesus live? be careful how you answer this. was it just to die? were His thirty-three years just a warming-up act for the end? answering it this way overshadows His ministry, which is detrimental. look at His opening ministry statements found in luke 4. He quotes isaiah 61 and proclaims the good news of the coming of God’s kingdom. what He proceeds to do in His lifetime is reflect that kingdom – by healing people physically and spiritually, by acting against exclusion, and by alleviating the suffering of the marginalized. He paints a portrait of what the wholistic view of humanity is. by meeting others’ physical and emotional needs, we earn a right to then evangelize. i pray my previous words aren’t mistaken for some sort of materialistic social Gospel, but i hope we all begin to understand that people will never hear our words about Christ if they cannot hear over the growling of their stomachs. our professor went on to quote a song from U2 which captures this truth beautifully:

you speak of signs and wonders,
but i need something other.
i would believe if i was able,
but i’m waiting on the crumbs from your table.
what do these words speak into you?
we were then asked to answer this: why did Jesus die? this one’s a bit easier for us, i imagine, since it tends to be the focus of what we’re instructed from an early age. His triumphant death was the final healing, a culmination of why He lived in the first place. His death has always been a cosmic event, one for the entire creation – of which i am just a small part. i can no longer make His atoning death just about me, for i am only a tiny portion of what this creation is as a whole.
i truly agree with my professor that answering His life question gives me much more responsibility than just focusing on His death does. only answering His death question narrows my evngelism, allowing me to walk away after sharing the Good News without meeting needs or being involved in lives. is this the faith i want? is this the spiritual practice i want to be a part of? i must realize that all of my pretty language about redemption and rescue might not become clear unless i offer up the feast from my table. will you offer up a feast?
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Filed under college life, missions, quotes, scripture, writings

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