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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Luke 13

Most of my waking time is spent dealing with people and problems of some sort. Consequently, I am solidly rooted in “the real world” (whatever that is).

There are a couple of things I use to get me out of my serious headspace in order to escape from reality. One of my very favorite things to use to escape reality is sports. When I turn on a game (particularly a game involving one of the Houston sport’s teams), I find that for 2 or 3 hours I can actually stop worrying about solving the problems of the world and enjoy what’s happening in the moment. What a treat!

Usually I’m pretty good about keeping the two areas of my life – sports and reality – completely separate from one another. Every once in a while, however, my social conscience takes over and I find myself trying to blend the two.

Last night, for instance, as I was watching the men’s NCAA Basketball championship, there was a part of me that found myself rooting for Butler since Duke had already won four championships and Butler had never won one. “How fair is that?” I wondered. Like sports has anything to do with fairness!

The question of fairness is a question I often find myself asking about – but Jesus challenges me in today’s reading to re-think my notion of what fairness is really all about. In the final third of the reading, the author(s) of Luke’s Gospel tells us Jesus basically said the last shall be first and the first shall be last. In other words, it’s what Eugene Peterson calls in The Message: The Great Reversal.

This teaching reminds me that Jesus’ (and his followers’) way of seeing things isn’t exactly the same as ours. Who’s not to say that the greatest story line of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament wasn’t the surprising success of programs like Northern Iowa and St. Mary’s – even though those schools failed to make it to the Final Four?

Today I would encourage you to explore a facet of your life and see if there are ways your take on the situation might differ dramatically from Jesus’. Once you start opening yourself to the principle behind The Great Reversal, you might be surprised how your definition of words like success or failure might change.

Til next time…

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