Synagogue and House – Responses to the authority of Jesus


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The gospels present everyone as recognizing the authority of Jesus. They all knew he was different. What they didn’t all do is react the same way. Luke portrays a difference in the Synagogue resposne and the response of people gathered in the house.

Our society places a high worth on work and money. So high that we have been willing to destroy or at least seriously lame our communities and social stuctures. We work 12 hour days away from where we live. When we return we don’t have the energy to do anything. So we make up words like quality time. Leaders are divorced from those ruled. Children from parents, neighbors from neighbors, family from family. All of this in the name of making a living.

If we are being honest, unless the peak oil scenarios are right and we are all forced closer to home by just being energy poor, this isn’t going to change any time soon.

Being the church will mean operating within those constraints. It also means pointing out the consequences of certain decisions. The distinctions that Luke calls out in the responses of two groups to Jesus are paradigmatic. The synagogue sits in wonder and makes reports, but fundamentally does nothing. Way too many of our churches are really synagogues. The houses respond in service and bringing all the wounded to
Jesus.
A world divorced and divorcing itself from community creates a lot of wounded. The house has the cure. It may look like many of the churches are dying, but that is how God works. Things die, so that he can take the glory in bringing them back. The real choice for churches is do they want to rise, do they want to act like the house, or are they content being the synagogue and burying the dead?

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