Crazy Christians, Chs. 8-10, pt.1

This Tuesday evening we are gathering to discuss Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of Bishop Curry’s book Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus.  As you read through these chapters keep in mind that although Curry is addressing his diocese in the Episcopal Church, his lessons are intended to apply to all of us who call ourselves Christian.  Again, as you read through Curry’s book, please have a bible with you in order to reference the verses that he cites.

In Chapter 8, Curry speaks about turning the world upside down. Acts 17:6-7.  The word “Christ” means “King,” and for the first apostles to proclaim Jesus as King was to proclaim he was greater than any power including Caesar himself.  In chapter four of their book The First Paul, Marcus Borg and John Crossan explore what it means that Jesus, not Caesar, is Lord and how this understanding of Paul turns the world’s power structure upside down. Their point is that Roman theology begins with Religion (Emperor is Lord) –> Based upon Violence –> Which leads to Victory –> Ending in Peace.  Therefore, there is a great divide between the Romans and their subjects who exist solely to serve the Empire. The upside-down world begins with Religion (Jesus is Lord) –> Based upon non-violent love of neighbor –> Which leads to Justice, Equality, and Freedom –> Ending in Peace. But in Christ there is no division for the greatest must be the servant of all. As, as Borg and Curry point out, the Church does not begin with Love or Justice or Good Works, rather our journey must begin with a deepened relationship with God and each other in Christ.  For only beginning with a God who humbles himself in the Incarnation and Death does the world appear upside down.  For Tuesday, think about what it means in our time to turn the world upside down with Jesus.

In Chapter 9, +Curry continues this emphasis on walking with Jesus.  As Curry points out, Peter could walk on water so long as he was following in Jesus’ footsteps and kept his eyes on him. Matt 14:29. Therefore, we become like Jesus and partake of his divine nature when we walk as he walked and do as he did. For in imitating Christ, we become like him. As St. Francis prayed: in giving we receive, in pardoning we are pardoned, and in dying we arise.  In going about our day, how to we keep on eyes on Jesus to avoid sinking in the wind-swept sea?

Dinner is at 6. The menu is halupki (Slovak stuffed cabbage). Discussion about 6:45.  Hope to see you here.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life

Prayer of St. Francis, 1970 BCP 833

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