Daily Advent Prayer Challenge – Day 20.
Read Luke 20. Commentary – Conflict brews. It is bubbling up in this chapter. Talking is getting no where. And when words fail, physical violence is sure to follow. Jesus calls out the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees. He is obliterating their authority structure, condemning them in parables to their face. He is showing their corruption and exploitation of the people for all to see and hear. And they fall right in to what Jesus is talking about. They send spies to try and trick him. No one does that when they are innocent and have nothing to hide. No, they are more interested in protecting their privilege and authority. Jesus is a threat to an unjust established “order” and he must be removed. There is too much power at stake. There is too much money at stake. There is too much exploitation at stake. And Jesus ends this chapter with a warning to his disciples – watch out for those who make a big show of their position in society. The outside may look royal, but the inside is corrupt to the core.
Let us pray. God who upends the established order, it is easy to talk about turning the tables. In theory we like this idea. But when it comes to it actually happening, we hesitate. What kind of impact will that have on us? Are we part of the established order that exploits? Would Jesus be addressing us in these parables?
Today I pray for those in the established order. I want to yell at these folks. But would they hear? Would they listen? Is that the point anyway? No. You create new systems and orders and ways of being. You invite us to participate in those. They are life giving. turn me away from unjust systems. Give me the courage to oppose them and also the courage to participate in establishing new systems – more just systems. Amen.