It’s funny how good we are at train wrecking the good news of Jesus, isn’t it? Today I want to take aim at the Gospel of the Status Quo.
It’s very easy to enjoy life isn’t it. We all have nice houses, nice cars, most of us have some form of reasonable income, we have friends, hobbies, security and usually the love of our families.
It’s easy to be joyful.
Sometimes we run in to problems decorating, sometimes the car breaks down, we don’t get that promotion, we fall out with a friend, we’re too busy, and our families go through struggles.
So actually, it can be harder to be joyful. When times are tough, it’s not always easy. Which is why we are encouraged by our Christian brothers and sisters to remember we can always be joyful in God. There are Psalms to quote from, interpretations of Jesus to back up the idea – that actually, no matter how bad things are, we can delight in God. We can find Joy in God.
I’m sorry, but that really is a load of complete rubbish. It’s damaging, hurtful and downright wrong.
Sometimes, life, to quote Eric Idle – is ‘a piece of shit’. Sometimes, things are really hard. I’m not referring to the car breaking down. I’m referring to the systematic abuse of our fellow human beings. Trafficking, Unfair trade, sweatshops, mafias, gangs, capitalism. People in the third world often have nothing.
Ironically, those are the people who better understand finding joy in God alone. Because that is all they have to find joy in.
But for us to say to those people, to say to anyone around us, simply, ‘you can find Joy in God and then everything will be ok’ – that’s ridiculous.
I was reading the beginning of Luke yesterday. In it, Jesus says he has come to bring good news to the poor. That he has come to declare the year of the Lord’s favour.
Good news for the poor isn’t ‘its ok, you can find joy in God’, it’s ‘it’s ok, you can find joy in God AND we will get you out of the hell you are in by sharing our lives, possessions and money with you’. That’s what the year of the Lord’s favour was- look it up, it’s essentially communism in action. We only need to read the book of Acts to see this coming in to fruition.
The problem with this Gospel is it requires us to change our lives wholesale, for the benefit of others. No wonder nobody’s up for it…
… It’s what Jesus proclaims though. How can we claim to follow Jesus of we ignore his proclamations?