Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sub-version! Part II

Jesse came home from a day at the fair with his classmates, and told me that he saw military vehicles there, was able to get in one, push the buttons, even, my, don’t they start young…that he saw military vehicles there that cost three million dollars. “Can you believe that?” he asked. “Well, yes,” I said. “That’s where our tax money goes. That’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not have healthcare, that’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not have affordable housing, that’s why there are so many people in our nation who do not…” “Oh, no, you got her started,” said Dylan.

Kings and queens and pharaohs and parliaments and presidents pass down fear-based, greed-based decrees, and we the people shape our lives to the realities that they create.

But there is this other reality, this other version of the story, this sub-version that is also being lived out, worked out, wrenched out, wrestled out through the grace and determination of the God who bends low to listen. And we see that story, that sub-version of the royal story in this morning’s text as well: Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The new king is doing his dastardly deeds, killing off the babies of the perceived enemy, buying up gold and baubles to fill up the cities that have been built by the blood of slaves, the new king is doing his dastardly fear-induced, greed-induced deeds. But all the while there is another story going on, a story of which he is, for now, unaware, a story that is slowly reshaping the reality that he, the king, has created, a story that will ultimately undermine the story that he, the king, has created.

The sub-version: A woman gently places her child in a papyrus basket. A young girl keeps watch from the riverbank. Unbeknownst to those in power, the sub-version unfolds, and this wave-rocked baby grows to lead the people of Israel to freedom.

We see this sub-version of the royal story over and over again throughout history, if we have eyes to see it, that is…

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) Ahhh, the royal story. The king was on his throne. Caesar Augustus, the most powerful emperor of the most powerful empire that the world had ever seen.

But look, here’s the sub-version, God’s workings, God’s wrenchings, God’s relentless intention for a new way…

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David); to be taxed with Mary his espoused, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The sub-version: A mother, a baby, a world with no room. And this cradle-laid baby grows up to become the biggest threat of all.
by Pastor Cindy. More coming...


Post a Comment

<< Home