The appropriate response to the depiction of Christ‚Äôs suffering and broken flesh is not empathy leading to philanthropic action or political activism on behalf of the less fortunate other.¬† Rather, it is meant to provoke repentance and conversion.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Luke Bretherton
There are two kinds of people in the world, the saying goes ‚Äď those who divide people into two kinds and those who don‚Äôt.¬† The saying is, of course, tongue-in-cheek; a satire of, say, candidates who draw dishonestly simplistic false dichotomies for political gain, or of ‚Äúexperts‚ÄĚ who presume a perspective from which they omnisciently categorize the world.¬† At best these folks are pretentious.¬† At worst, they are the ones who make ‚Äúdistinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts‚ÄĚ (James 2:4).
The lectionary readings unabashedly speak of two kinds of people – the poor and the rich. ¬†Far from making a false dichotomy, the texts shine light on what is perhaps the primordial divide.¬† Read more