alleys of kingdom come

Grunge AlleyJesus had just started.  he was just getting going.  and some guys came to ask him questions.  his cousin, John, had heard the rumors that Jesus was claiming to be the One.  the One that generations had longed for.  the One that John was wacked out for, living a life so outside the box that people couldn’t help but pay attention.

and so he sent some guys to find out the truth.

they arrive and ask this Jesus character if what they’ve heard is true.  is he the One?!  and Truth answers:

Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.


that’s not what i was expecting.  if the church today were “the guys,” what would we have told John?  because this seems a bit off message…  

he didn’t say “i am he…i am not a homosexual.  i am not a democrat.  i am not a murderer.  i’ve never told a lie.”

he didn’t say “i am he…i don’t drink, smoke or chew…or date girls that do.”

he didn’t say “i am he…i show up to the temple every Saturday.”

he didn’t say “i am he…sit and let me share with you my systematic theology that proves it.”

he didn’t say “i am he…after all, i know all the right people.”

he didn’t say “i am he…come and let’s topple this empire with my strength.”

instead he chose to prove himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life by testifying to the ways that he serves the poor and the oppressed.  the beaten-down and hopeless.  the weak and dying.  he didn’t choose to cozy up to Emperors and Caesars in hopes of one day succeeding them.  instead he touched lepers to heal them.  he didn’t stockpile an arsenal to destroy his enemies.  instead he lived shalom.

this radical One.  he’s still affirming who he is to us.  we see it when we serve those who have less.  we experience Him in a touch, a smile, in a glimmer of hope.  when we step away from our comfort to live simply. when we abandon greed for giving.  i need to live more of my life in these alleys of kingdom come.


8 Responses to alleys of kingdom come

  1. timbeck05 says:

    freak. i think i’m spending too much time hoping that other ‘christians’ in america will notice how Jesus is affirming who he is to us. not enough time is being spent noticing how he is affirming that message within me.

    the second thing is this: there is turmoil in my soul as i strive to discover what serving those with less looks like in my, my hybrid suburban-meets-rural-meets-transients community. also, how will i lead others to do what Jesus would have us to do? what will that look like here?

    work in progress…

    great, inspiring words, jdh. i look forward to discussing it with you soon.

  2. joeldaniel says:

    @tim definitely a work in progress here, too. i’ve had a few really cool glimpses of goodness recently, though, that are keeping me pressing on. looking forward to talking tomorrow.

  3. Adam says:

    I’m getting this thrown in my face time and again in my exploring the sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers – it is not about affirming “right thinking” and theological “rightness” as it is about “right living” – faith breaths out in works that exercise the love woven into the lungs to begin with.
    Good stuff, duder.
    Indeed, how do we define ourselves and seek definition from others as disciples of our Rabbi Jesus?

  4. joeldaniel says:

    @adam – good thoughts…i also have to be continually reminded that we should more be known about what we’re for than what we’re against. as well as what you’re getting at that we can’t just say it but must live it. always a challenge.

  5. Jessica Wells says:

    I really like this post, and I’m happy to hear it from a youth pastor. I think it is really important for kids to experience Christianity as more than a list of “do nots” I need it too.

  6. joeldaniel says:

    @Jessica…thanks! especially for this generation, faith has to be experiential. that’s my heart…experiencing Christ with kids.

  7. beth says:

    Can I copy this? I’ll give you writing credit…

  8. joeldaniel says:

    @Beth…sure : ) if it’s online, just include a link to here somewhere. thanks!

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