“This is what we know: competition, greed, prejudice, discrimination, hatred, inequality, violence, the arrogance and exploitation of the powerful, selfishness, consumerism, materialism, individualism will never build a better world or heal our communities. Selflessness, generosity, mercy, grace, forgiveness, equality, justice, non-violence and unconditional love can and will.”
“If you’ve been convinced that the good news of God is good news for orphans and widows in their distress – if you like hearing that Christianity is about justice, compassion, generosity and equality – then, James writes, ‘don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.'”
“I finally realised that I couldn’t do God’s job in my life. I needed him. My safety, protection and provision could only be found in Jesus. The truth is when we realise our wisdom, courage, and strength are not enough we have only one option, we must lay ourselves before the throne of God and allow Him to do His work in and through us”
“Baptism is not the moment you suddenly get to go to heaven, it’s not the moment you decide that you’re a Christian. It is when people make the personal decision to publically say, ‘I am going to follow Jesus, I’m going to learn from His way of life and the example that he showed us and I’m going to make a declaration to my community and to my God that I’m on the path to following Jesus for the rest of my life.”
“Richard Rohr says, “One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish and vain in most of Christian history and still believe that Jesus is one’s “personal Lord and Saviour” or continue to receive sacraments in good standing. The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on earth is too great.” “
“The structured definition of family that we often see in our society doesn’t always work. It can hurt and exclude people, failing to protect women and children. Some have defended this structure with the language of ‘family values’, but they are actually defending a patriarchal vision of family; the family as a power structure. Jesus did not value the family as a power structure, but instead valued the powerless, those who did not have family. Jesus had a larger vision of family, a family found in a sacred community of equality.”
“When I first came to faith so many people exclaimed ‘the prodigal son has come home’, and while there are similarities between the younger brother in this story and my experience of “coming home”, if we think that that is the only and most important meaning of this parable, then we have missed the point. Jesus is not talking to the rebellious pastors kids or the wayward backsliders. He is talking to the Pharisees and Teachers of the law, exposing what underlies their seeming selflessness.”
Jesus didn’t come to shame people into behaviour modification. He came to present an entirely new way of looking at the world, a new way of doing life, a new blueprint for society in which the poor and oppressed people have a special place and focus, in which those who would follow him would not consider themselves the centre of the universe but instead serve others first, a new way of understanding power in which peace, humility and unconditional love would be the true sources of power and where non-violence in the face of corrupt powers using violence to reinforce their privilege would become a way of life.