Danger!

attentionThis is something of an announcement. An invitation. Blow the trumpets. I’m going to try something a little different. That alone is danger enough, for those who know me well. “What would it be like if…..”

What would it be like if you found an interactive bible study in this space for the next say, 6-10 posts? It would have places for you to respond, and in the comments you could respond to me and to one another. Would you visit? Invite a friend to come with you? Would it fit into your busy life? The bottom line is that I miss teaching like crazy. I miss conversations and discoveries about scripture that happen in the two way.

So, here it is. The study is called “Dangerous Jesus: Things Jesus said that were dangerous enough to get a person killed”
Because Jesus was dangerous, dangerous enough to make people want to kill him. And Jesus is still dangerous. Dangerous enough that people are getting killed for wearing his name on their foreheads where baptismal water has flowed. Dangerous enough that we have to tame and soften him. As Annie Dillard said, we should be wearing crash helmets to crash helmet dogchurch instead of hats with flowers on the brim. Dangerous enough that we divide not only his clothes but his body between us when we talk about what Jesus would do or say now. If we really listened to Jesus as he spoke to his friends and enemies in those days, would we be so ready to sing all those songs you can just as easily sing to your boyfriend as to Jesus in our day?

We are entering the unholiest season of our political life together here in the states: presidential election season. Public discourse will be hateful and unreasonable for the next 18 months. It hasn’t really stopped being hateful and unreasonable since the last presidential election, so it’s hard to imagine it getting even more so. Jesus’ name will be thrown around as though such a thing were safe to do. Politicians will claim their version of “Christian nation” as a rally to the voting booths. While this study isn’t going to be about politics, it also isn’t going to avoid them. Be nice. It’s my blog. I can block you if your comments become uncivilized. It’s one of the few places in my world where I have so much power!! (Every parent of an adolescent craves such a button…)

The golden rule for dangerous conversation involving Jesus is this:

  Always be able to state the other person’s (people’s) position in such a way that they can recognize and claim it as theirs. (Truemper’s First Law of Theological Warfare)

No caricatures, naming and blaming are able to do that. It’s a tough spiritual discipline. Very tough. But if we and a whole lot of politicians and church leaders could master such
discipline, the world would be a very different place.

So hold on tight.  Keep calm.   We are about to enter The Danger Zone!
Betsy

 

P.S.  Here’s a cuddly animal  to comfort you after all this talk of danger….’cuz everyone likes cuddly animals, right?

cuddle dog

 

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About Pastor Betsy Williams

I am a mom. And a wife. And a Friend. And a homeowner. And a dog ...uh....owner? Actually make that two dogs. Two kids. One husband. I'm an ELCA Lutheran pastor of a beautiful downtown church. I am the third senior pastor in a century, so my 10-12 years here may feel like an interim to some of the folks here. Recently I have had no spare time. In my spare time in the future, my imagination inhabits a novel I am writing, The Funeral Preacher. My primary blog is a personal reflection on the Revised Common Lectionary...mostly: "Not All Who Wander are Lost." A few years ago I was on a team of writers who produced a little book for Augsburg Fortress in the Washed and Welcome series called "Living the Promises." It's 101 ideas for helping parents and godparents nurture their children in the faith of their baptism. I am developing another blog, more about worship at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Newark, Ohio and including a summary of the past week's preaching. Otherwise, I imagine myself to be a musician, liturgical artist, cook in a five star restaurant where the patrons keep ordering chicken nuggets, but never a bottle washer. I know how to delegate and share.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Christian, Dangerous Jesus, Lutheran, Spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Danger!

  1. Ashley says:

    I look forward to Dangerous Jesus!

  2. I like the new and improved Kick Ass Jesus.

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