Jesus Is Not the Reason http://dmergent.org/articles/


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By Douglas C. Sloan

Jesus is not the reason for the season.

(Jesus would have been shamed and insulted by such a view and attitude.)

The reason for the celebration in any season is the message and the path and the way taught by Jesus.

This season, we celebrate the Advent of an old message renewed and reborn and retold to replace the way of the world:

  • Empire – war, conquest, piety, peace – or Tribal Justice or Honor Codes are not the way to live.
  • It is wrong to allow individuals to accumulate or attain or have access to such wealth and power that they are able to take the homes, farms, land, property, and livelihood of others.
  • It is not about copious conspicuous consumption, short-term planned obsolescence, or easy disposability.
  • It is not about the supremacy of the individual or the community.
  • It is not about beliefs, creeds, canons, literal interpretations of ancient texts, holding ancient texts as obligatory and controlling, original sin, guilt, fear, hate, exclusion, divine narcissism and capriciousness, divine interventions, sacrificial atonement, eternal rewards and punishments, or making a post-mortal existence more important than how we live here and now with ourselves and with each other.

Advent is when we celebrate the arrival and presence of Good News for all people:

*The Divine is unrestrained love and unconditional grace.

*The purpose of community is education and stewardship and justice and compassion:

  • Education as the respect for and nurture of each student as an individual with unique gifts to be discovered and developed while introducing students to the best of art, knowledge, scientific inquiry, logic, and philosophy and encouraging play, creativity, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-expression, independence, collaboration, and community.
  • Stewardship as the long-term protection, management, and replenishment of renewable resources, and that non-renewable resources require minimum use and maximum protection and recycling and reclamation;
  • Justice as repair, rehabilitation, restoration, and – where possible – reconciliation;
  • Compassion as feeding, quenching, clothing, sheltering, healing, visiting, welcoming, …

*The goal of the individual is to seek resurrection and transformation and then to live

  • fearlessly and joyfully and hopefully,
  • gently and peacefully without violence and without vengeance,
  • with graciousness untainted by jealous or passive-aggressive intentions.

*The purpose of the individual is to provide inclusive hospitality and joyous generosity and wise and healthy service to others.

*As individuals in community, we are to embrace and internalize the Good News message

  • then live it and exude it and provoke it
  • here and now, constantly and forever.

Amen

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Doug

You can get a pdf of this article here.

via Articles – [D]mergent http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/dmergent/~3/Fk8K7tcZtXM/jesus-is-not-the-reason

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About Doug Sloan

Doug is a member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 4950 East Wabash Avenue, P.O. Box 3125, Terre Haute, IN 47803-0125 (812-877-9959). Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is an open and affirming congregation. Doug is an Elder, has served as Treasurer, enjoys his continuing membership in the choir as the lowest voiced bass and currently is serving as an At-Large member of the Regional Board of the Indiana Disciples of Christ. As a member of the O&A Elders group, he helped write a resolution to change the ordination policy of the Indiana Region. The resolution will be presented at the 2012 Indiana Regional Assembly. He graduated in 2009 with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana State University and a BS in Management Information Systems from Ball State University in 1997. Since August 2005, he has been a member of the CIS Adjunct Faculty at the Terre Haute campus of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. He has been published in DisciplesWorld and Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice. In the summer of 2010, Doug became a contributor to this blog: [D]mergent.org

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