The Gospel (or the Way, as it was known) was a disruptive force. It was disruptive for the status quo and those who tried to profit from both political and religious power. Even without a direct rebuke of such, the Gospel’s very existence was enough to threaten the coercive and corrosive forces of the world.
Still today the Gospel doesn’t serve to comfort the comfortable but to discomfort the complacent. It doesn’t exist to reinforce the way things are, or direct us back to days gone by, but to show us the world as it should be in light of the Kingdom of God.
It is a declaration against power used to protect and profit only the few with the radical message of grace, love, and a place for all to profit from an inheritance that could only be bestowed from above.
Let go of anger and leave rage behind! Don’t get upset—it will only lead to evil … Though they trip up, they won’t be thrown down, because the LORD holds their hand … The mouths of the righteous recite wisdom; their tongues discuss justice. Psalms 37:8, 24-24, 30 CEB
(Quick sketches don’t always mean perfect sketches. The correct date is Proper 18. The correct first verse is eight. And yes, it’s Tuesday. Felt like a Monday though ☺)
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Psalms 108:4 NRSV
“If only my words were written in a book— better yet, chiseled in stone! Still, I know that God lives—the One who gives me back my life— and eventually he’ll take his stand on earth. And I’ll see him—even though I get skinned alive!— see God myself, with my very own eyes. Oh, how I long for that day!
Job 19:23-27 MSG
And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’
Acts 13:25 NRSV