Eventually, after who knows how long (but it seemed longer to Mary) the little boy was born. The midwife slapped his bum, cleaned him up and passed him to his mum.
Our best motivations, strategies and theologies can do nothing to heal a broken world – only Jesus can do that.
In Jesus, the physical and spiritual are completely intertwined. This is easy to say, but it is profoundly counter-cultural in the Western world, including in Christian circles.
Even a superficial reading of the New Testament suggests that a reluctance to be self-critical with regard to the religious traditions we have inherited is actually very odd.
When we read the Gospels, we know the end of the story. It is really hard to grasp exactly what is going on when we know that everything will work out well and that Jesus will eventually triumph.
By dying and rising again, Jesus made it possible for sinful human beings to be forgiven and for all things in heaven and on earth to be reconciled to God. Mission which doesn’t include this message doesn’t really deserve to be called mission, in the first place.
We must not assume what God is like and the ask whether Jesus fits the description. We must allow Jesus and his cross to redefine our notions of God.
God has tied his own reputation up in our behaviour. Given our propensity to foul up, that is remarkable!
What Bible would Jesus use? He’d use scrolls in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. We simply cannot co-opt Jesus into our arguments about which Bible to use (or anything else in contemporary life for that matter), because he didn’t live in our time and place.
What God is opposed to is empire—rich and powerful nations that believe they have a divine right to rule other nations. God is opposed to the agenda of empire for this simple reason: God makes the same claim for his Son!