We had a short note today that said ‘now I get the concept of the façades’ word. In the light of that and the time we find ourselves in I thought I would put a few points down here that will make everything ever so clear (as if!!).
It was from a dream that indicated there were many influences that shaped public life as we now have it, and a time came when the inside of institutions were made visible, however in response to the situation believers sang (I do not use the word ‘worship’ in this context) a well known ‘worship’ song with the result that the façades all closed back up.
Here then are my comments.
How we respond at any given time is key. There is a time for all things said the writer of Ecclesiastes. What is right in one context is wrong in another. We see that very clearly when God says he hated the festivals and sacrifices – yet the people could have defended themselves with ‘and who told us to do this?’
In the dream it was singing, and as mentioned above singing can be worship but in the wrong context it is anything but worship. Worship is to live and act in a way that declares our faith that God is ‘worthy’. When the façades come up God is looking for our engagement not our resorting to singing. (Jo Storie put this so well with the need to ‘see’ what God is up to.)
I believe that God ‘rules’ but a) not by power but by love and b) there is a distribution of that rule with the body of Christ as absolutely the key. In the all-but one world government (past) of the Imperial world of Rome John presents his vision of the throne room of heaven (Rev. 4 and 5) in such a way that the readers / hearers had a huge choice to make: is rulership coming from Rome, or from heaven via a Lamb that has been slain who has given authority to those who follow the Lamb? We are in deception if we think the key to the future is a White House, a #10, a Moncloa, a Brussels or wherever. Important as those places are we will one day find that we have been in deception if that has been our belief and passion. Rather how the body of Christ responds is what shapes the future. I hold to that with a) the choice of ekklesia as the governmental word used to describe those people; b) the call to be a royal priesthood (exercising authority for change through laying down our rights); and c) the principle of seeds among the followers of Jesus relating to fruit in society.
Hence what are we to do now at this key time? To resort to the familiar (for example, sing ‘Jesus is Lord’) and not to see that we are in a major ‘leverage’ moment for change through our self-abandonning involvement will mean we miss this opportunity, maybe for a life-time.
The coronavirus crisis is exposing all kinds of issues (side note: corona = crown; there is currently a huge exposée of the royal family in Spain taking place at this time; one opposition party leader saying ‘to question the royalty is more lethal for Spain than than the corona virus’!!!). Personal issues such as ones of fear, self preservation, our values concerning the weak and vulnerable, health care for all or for the privileged; economic issues – goes without saying, but putting it in the biblical context there are ALWAYS major economic shifts when there is a spiritual shift; nationalistic issue with borders becoming racist legitimisers (the ‘Chinese’ virus!!!!). We should be thankful that Scripture has a relevant perspective into all the above and many other issues.
We are at a moment of RESET. Creation has had enough, give it all a REST so that we can get a reset. Creation always cries out and looks to those who are being fashioned into the image of Jesus to give a response. (Creation’s voice also being heard through the feminine – inevitable theologically as we are all from ‘mother’ earth… not gaia, but Genesis the book of origins makes this clear. The last voice on the streets of Madrid before the silence that speaks loudly right now was the voice of the International Day of Women. Wisdom clearly cries out.)
A reset means there is good news… if we are not one of the elite. That is how it was in Jesus’ day. There being neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, nor male and female. Good news if one was a Gentile, a slave, or female. Bad news (?) if one were Jew, free and male. Not really bad news, but solidly bad news if one wanted to hold on to privilege. But great news if willing to travel the path of repentance and lay down privilege. It cannot be any different today.
Most readers of this blog are from the privileged 5% of the world. There is a reset that can take place. Choices we – the privileged and those who are to be through whom the life (rulership) of Jesus the slain Lamb is to come – can and must make. Not ‘me first’, nor ‘my nation first’… but a prayer, a desire and action that allows the huge reset to take place. If the personal resets cannot take place, and we resort to the familiar…
The elements of privilege: that encompass gender, economics and faith / chosenness are being challenged at this time. It might not be easy to journey through the issues being presented but the path has to be trodden by those who refuse to live as elite. Once that is done there are corresponding choices we will make, but for sure we cannot simply join our voices to the former songs. There are songs at this time but they are the songs of creation.
OK maybe the above is clear?