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At a more fundamental level, Brueggemann writes that prophetic critique must be grounded in pathos. He points out that the royal management consciousness that is rooted in practicality and reasonableness leads to apathy, or the denial of experience, emotions, empathy, and imagery.
He writes that Israel exchanged freedom for order, justice for security, and passion for satiation. The royal consciousness stands against any change. It saps our capacity and readiness to care and suffer for others, and to block out the cries of those who do.
Under Solomon, the politics and religion of Israel become well-ordered. But this transition is not a God-ordered society but a royal-ordered society. In our consciousness, like Israel, we do not want God’s order, we want our order with ourselves in control.
Finally, the prophetic energy always ends in doxology not ideology. It ends with praise to the God that acted decisively for the outsider as the outsider, not so that the outsider could now become the oppressor.
The initial example that Bruggemann uses to speak about the world and the prophetic imagination to both criticize the world and to energize an alternative vision is Pharoah and Moses. If you have time this week, read Exodus 1-3 and see where the Scriptures describe the world versus the prophetic alternative.
In short, the prophetic imagination is understanding (or imagining) God’s acting outside of the boundaries that we have placed around him.
The word Mark uses for “transfiguration” is metamorphoses, the title of Ovid’s poem. In Mark’s use of this term, like his use of the word “gospel” to open his work, he wants us to see that Jesus is Lord and God, not Ceasar.
The Transfiguration shows us Jesus’ metamorphosis from an itinerant preacher and healer in Galilee into the fullness of his purpose and being as the Messianic Son of God to be crucified in Jerusalem as the ransom for many.
In Mark, the problem in the human condition is that we are overcome by those things that seek to pull us into non-existence (i.e. sin). Jesus’s mission is to restore us to the fullness of our creation. His mission is to eliminate and overcome those defects in spirit and body.
In Mark, Jesus is the one that does battle on our behalf against the spiritual hosts of wickedness to free us from this present evil age. Mark is apocalyptic. Jesus is the challenge to the dominion of evil.
In those jars, we have the Eucharistic wine that purifies the world of its sins. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29. Jesus is the good wine.
John is telling us that the world in the Resurrection is like a wedding feast where only the best wine is served and it never runs out. This is the opening scene of Jesus’ ministry where John tells us what the remainder of his gospel-story is about.