5. When Yahweh became a man, he was a homeless vagrant. He walked though Palestine proclaiming that a mysterious kingdom had arrived. That was and is the gospel. He called people to follow him, and that meant walking. The kingdom that sprung up around his dusty feet was weird: it was a place in which the first were last and the last were first. This Yahweh-man, partly because he was an itinerant tramp and partly because that’s the way the kingdom always works, particularly fascinated the people on the edge of things: the underdogs, the despised. He wasn’t a big hit with the urban establishment.
6. Being a Christian (a word too contaminated by millennia of hypocrisy, violence, and downright error to be safe) means following the Yahweh-man and expanding the topsy-turvy kingdom movement (significant word, that).
Charles Foster, “The Sacred Journey”, p XV
Kingdom movement; something grips me about the idea that being a follower of Jesus actually implies movement – so if we find ourselves, our churches, our Christian communities feeling static and stuck, maybe the problem is that we’ve ceased to be a movement, we’ve ceased to move. Jesus has purposefully wandered off somewhere else, but we’ve been too busy with ourselves, our organisational structures, our comfort…to realise that’s what has happened. The further away Jesus gets, the more we have to rely on the past, our own solutions and strategies, our own clever ideas, our networks, our circle of influence to get things done.
And worse still, we lose sight of the underdogs, the despised and the people on the edge. In short, we have become part of the urban establishment, and before long will start persecuting those who are still trying to move on in step with the spirit of Jesus, and we will cease to be good news people.
And I know from my own experience, personal and second-hand, that it happens all so deceptively slowly that it’s often happened before we are aware of it, and by then, it’s to late.
Fortunately, that’s often the time that Jesus wanders back into your life, community, church and says, “Follow me” as if you never did before and never stopped when you did.