All great spirituality is subversive, including the spirituality of following Jesus. Jesus was poor because the truth is there is more to life than money, and money is only a tool. Jesus did not cower to the power of religious authority, because the religious authority was corrupt and misrepresented God. Jesus did not take a wife or even a girlfriend because there is more to life than romance and sex. Jesus did not associate his identity with a specific fashion because clothes themselves cover the truth.
So when we follow Christ, everything about us becomes subversive. We have the audacity to stand in the middle of the world and weep over the false idols of culture, the power, the money, the sex, the fashion. And we do the same within the church. We say to the religious that their rules will not redeem them, to the performers of ritual that their actions have no power. We say to the angry theologian that Jesus is not an idea, and to the fundamentalist that he is too cowardly to accept or give grace.
Jesus is even subversive about the harsh reality of death, standing in the face of it and proving it powerless. Everything we worship, He dismisses, and everything we fear He faces. He is God.
All the false idols of our culture are reversed in Christ, and we can find comfort in this. Why? Because look at the pain in your life. Look at the hardship. How much of the pain has been caused by sacrificing to idols that have no power to help you, no power to heal you, no power to redeem you? Christ wants us to return to Him and find a true God, hanging on a cross where before we worshiped at the feet of flannel shirts stuffed with straw.
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