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.
‘Live hope filled lives. Dare to live the reality of the Kingdom of God now! Jesus modelled that Kingdom when he announced that he came for the excluded, not to coddle the included.’
“The Parable of the Banquet for the Poor, the poetic picture of this sacred feast, teaches us that the Kingdom of God is community where everyone can come to the table and a model of equality.
This community is already at that table; every Sunday we gather here around the bread and the wine, every time support groups meet at this place to share food and coffee, every week members of this community meet in each other’s homes, every day that activists within this congregation work to improve the living conditions of the poor.
Every time we work to make the world a better place for those who need it most, that is God’s table, and that is the Kingdom of God.”
“The ramifications of loving your neighbours as yourself are deeper than you might’ve thought. What would you want others to do for you if you were having your rights, your humanity, your reputation and your dignity challenged? Would you like them to sit on the fence? Sit this one out because it’s a bit too theologically contentious?”
“Can we consider acting on behalf of others simply because they are human and not for any other reason? Can we include people in the “us” that we would defend no matter what the cost? Even if it had nothing to do with me and the people like me? Even if it had nothing to do with protecting my way of life, my standard of living or my world view? Even if it cost me some of those things?”
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me, for whoever wants to save their life will lose it but whoever loses their life for me will find it”
‘Every generation, religious or secular, can see the end of the world coming soon. It’s normal. We apply our social anxieties to the status quo around us. Today, however, we face legitimate ecological, economic and humanitarian crisis. We can see our world coming to an end.
Jesus saw the end of the world also. Jesus was like us; Jesus could see his own world coming to an end, and he believed that God would one day restore the world, but he also knew that the Kingdom of God is here now. Jesus shows us how to build a better world, even if we can see our own world ending.
The world might be ending, but we go to the poor; reach out to the sick and the oppressed. We improve the living conditions of those in need.
The world might be ending, but we share our table with the poor and the powerless. We create communities of equality.
The world might be ending soon, but the Kingdom of God is here now, a community among us, growing over time.
This world might be ending… Like Jesus, we build a better world regardless.’
‘Jesus gave his life. But before that he gave his time. Radical generosity can take many forms. When we give our money, our time or our lives this too can be a radical act.’
“Jesus chose something deeper than charity or even being a social justice warrior. He chose solidarity. Jesus doesn’t hang out with the outsider to pull them to the inside – Jesus is the outsider.”