Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday Thoughts

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It’s Good Friday. If I were at home I would have gone to church with my family and then pot luck after church, followed by going home for leftovers from last night’s seder. But I’m not home. I’m at school.
In honor of the holiday I’ve been listening to !Hero: The Rock Opera while writing a paper and painting a new shirt. Later tonight there will be some Jesus Christ Superstar action happening, but for now it’s paper writing and !Hero. (!Hero is a retelling of the story of Jesus set in New York which is being ruled by an "iron-fisted" government known as ICON...think rock-and-roll meets Broadway meets the Gospel)
As I write this I’m about half way through. If I remember correctly this song (He just had to stir things up/leave here) is sung when Maggie (Mary Magdalene) is trying to tell her prostitute friends about Jesus and what he has done in her life. The lyrics (in part):
Prostitutes: Who does this man think he is? None of us need his help. Why don’t you just take your big kingdom to someone else? You shouldn’t be here. We don’t need you telling us how we should live our lives. How do we know you’re not just telling a pack of lies? You shouldn’t be here. Leave here. We don’t welcome any outsider inside the gang. We’re just malcontents but content to keep things the same. You’d better leave here. We don’t take our spiritual guidance from vagabonds. We don’t need a miracle worker to wave his wand. We’ll make you leave here.
Maggie: what’s the matter with you mental giants? Just afraid of what you can't explain. He only offers you a chance to try it, but all you do is mock him and complain.
Prostitutes: Hey girl let's remind you of something that you forget. You're just of us so go work it and paint your lips. white trash girl Maggie. We don't need you telling us how we should live our lives. How do we know you’re not just telling a pack of lies? Tell him to leave here.
Maggie: You really hate it when a person changes. Do you feel better when you call me names? My life's been clean since I met this stranger and all he does is offer you the same

As I listened to this I put myself in place off all three groups of people: Jesus (!Hero), the prostitutes and Maggie. I wondered how Jesus must have felt to be rejected before people even gave him a chance. All he was doing was offering hope to these people and they wouldn't even give him the time of day. They wouldn't even try to trust him. How does Jesus feel when I don't trust him? How many times do I tell him (maybe not in the exact words) that I don't need him telling me how I should live me life and that I've got it all under control?
And Maggie...she's met Jesus and she wants to tell others about the hope she has, but they won't listen to her. They can't see that she has changed. They still see the old Maggie. It must be frustrating for her. She knows she's changed and isn't the person she used to be, but no one else will accept that. How many times to I treat people the way the prostitutes treated Maggie? How often do I refuse to move beyond the past and accept that someone has changed? How often do I believe, even subconsciously, that someone is too bad for Jesus to change?
The prostitutes: they were scared. They didn't understand how or why Maggie had changed. How would they support themselves if they gave up prostitution? Who would accept them? They had a history after all. They aren't happy with the way things are, but the are more scared of the unknown. A chance at real freedom and healing is standing in their midst, but they are too scared to even give it a chance.

It's a lot to think about. Unfortunetely thinking about this does not give me progress on my paper on the five marks of global missions, so I will have to stop thinking and get back to work...Have a blessed Good Friday and remember that Sunday is coming!

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