Sunday, November 13, 2005
Session #1: The Geneaologies
Two themes stood out in my mind after our discussion on the genealogies in Matthew and Luke.
1. God uses the unlikeliest of people to be agents of the kingdom.
The chief agent of God's kingdom being Jesus. I find it helpful recognizing this consistent theme throughout the bible. Particularly, the exodus and exile motif we see in the beginning chapters of Matthew.
One of the things I try to do in understanding these rich and deeper goldmines in the Bible is to relate them to our present day...to the world I inhabit. One of my thoughts came up in our discussion. I was thinking about the passed hip-hop artist/rapper Tupac Shakur as a metaphor for what I am talking about. Tupac was not an agent for the kingdom of God (or was he?) but he did represent the voiceless in American society. He was one of the few rappers and pop culture icons that consistently brought the voices of those in the margins in his rap songs ( e.g. Brenda's gotta baby, Keep ya head up, et al). Given his background and personal history Tupac was an unlikely candidate to represent other people's hopes and aspirations.
2. A part of God's story of redemption is the turning of the tables.
Consistently throughout scripture we see this theme repeated over and over again. In fact, the gospels talk about the "last becoming first". Once we understand that Jesus represents not only God, but also humanity...and in particular, God decides to become a human being in the form of a peasant who is a part of a people who are oppressed and occupied by a colonizing power. I think too often we Western Christians dismiss these historical nuggets as irrelevant to our discussion to Jesus' message of 'good news'. I don't know where this comes from. I have my suspicions: 1. the over-spiritualizing of the historical context of the New Testament 2. that we read the Bible from a place of relative privilege...its hard to identify with a people who are on the edges of barely surviving. We tend to read the Bible through our own culture...which isn't totally a bad thing...in some ways...many ways it is difficult to recognize and escape.
I'll post more thoughts as they arise.