It was just a few days ago the Church celebrated the Pentecost. We witnessed the extraordinary events of the Church coming together – forming out of a few followers in disarray after the chaos of the resurrection – unity coming out of the chaos.
Today’s passage in Matthew witnesses to the same Spirit. “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” We see in the midst of these words, Jesus healing a demoniac who was blind and mute.
As Jesus cures the blind and heals the lame, we see the extraordinary nature of the Church forming. God’s kingdom, it turns out, is about the wholeness of the people, and the poor and helpless being lifted up. It is a world where all are seen as equal, and where justice and righteousness reign over bigotry and narrow-mindedness. In many ways, Jesus doles out free healthcare.
The world we see through the lens of the Gospel, and through our post-Pentecostal eyes, is one of extraordinary grace – pouring out over the whole world, and saving the lost.
This is not the world that many churches are preaching about. Frankly it scares the heck out of some of them. But God’s grace is like that. It dumbfounded the Pharisees, and it dumbfounds us still. On Sunday, some of you mentioned my last Morning Reflection. Most were extremely positive. A few of you were saying things like, “Wow, that was almost too political!” And while I appreciate and understand that angle, I hope we never shelve our faith Monday to Saturday, with only Sunday-like convictions. God calls us to proclaim Christ at all times, speak out for the wholeness of people and lifting up the poor and the afflicted. So you will have to bear with me as I wrestle with our Oklahoma political context, which in my eyes does not always comport with the Gospel. Let’s keep talking!
Ultimately that Gospel is grace that pours out to the whole world, saving those thought to be lost. We can all agree on that, right!?
Can it really be that God cares for all, even the least among us? Can God care that much? Can the unity God calls us to through the radical transformation of the gospel really be for all? Does the extraordinary opportunity for healing present in the gospels extend beyond those who we think? You betcha!