the other/Other

The Color of Your Eyes – Thoughts from the Edge

Rather than write a completely new intro for this weeks, “Thoughts from the Edge,” I offer something from my weekly email to the community of faith I share life with here in the Tri-City area.

“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Or so goes the old maxim. Sometimes I wonder if there are times where we hear a passage of Scripture so frequently we tell it what to mean. There is little doubt I have expressed something like this before. But, this week one of our texts is that story of “Zacchaeus was a wee little man.” Children’s songs are catchy. And, like some of the adult songs we sing they stop short of the whole picture. Combine our memories of these little jingles and the repetition of the telling of the story and we are often left thinking we know the story too well. Luke intends to tell Theophilus the story of Jesus. He includes this story. Christian musical artist/theologian Michael Card considers Luke to always point out that the “people who should get Jesus don’t, and the people who shouldn’t get Jesus do.” Maybe he is on to something when we come to Zacchaeus.

Sometimes Sunday mornings require a certain sensibility. We do have “young ears” sitting with us. Many times I wonder if our interest not to have to explain what the “preacher” said keeps us from letting the reality of the stories sink deeply into our understanding of the love of God in Jesus the Christ. For instance, when we think of Tax Collectors it is a bit ambiguous for the pastor to ask you to consider who represents that “class” of person for you. It is unclear because we often do not think deeply enough about what this means. We are not talking about your most troublesome relationship. We are not talking about your ethnic phobias. We are talking about people who for you represent everything that is wrong with society. Read More

We Prefer Right Over Compassion

Karen Armstrong offers thoughts combined with critique. Reviving a spirit where the “other” de-centers us from our own dogmatic center expressed by the “Golden Rule” is central to Armstrong’s thoughts. Believing and action cannot be separated.

If Only Beyond Sports – For the other

David posted this video last week. I thought it would be a good one to re-post here.

Thoughts from the Edge – Seeing the World In a Whole New Way

The week got by me and I did not get my usual podcast up offering a reflection on one or more of the Lectionary texts for the week. This week I will offer a brief written thought.

When you see the world, what do you see? In our current political climate we tend to see in terms of “left” and “right” or “red” and “blue.” A friend from college and I reconnected on Facebook some time ago. We caught up on our differing life stories. Guy remarked in an email his chief concern was how do people treat the other/Other. The matter transcends categories of left and right, as well as “red states” and “blue states.” It is something of a Good Samaritan question.

How we see others tends to be filtered through a grid. Sometimes we view people from a position of power. That is, we tend to think of them from an “upper hand” vantage point. Hidden or outright arrogance is well reflected in our actions toward those we feel some power over. From the position of weakness we form different pictures/thoughts. Hidden or outright resentment may be welled up looking for the slightest crack from which to explode in one form or another.

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