"The cross must be raised again at the center of
the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am claiming
that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on
a cross between two thieves; on the town garbage heap, at a crossroads
so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and
soldiers gamble, because that is where He died and that is what he died
about and that is where Christians ought to be and what Christianity
should be about."
- George McLeod ( founder of Iona Community 1938 )
It is easy when your stuck in the " church bubble " to forget what Jesus was all about. We have been indoctrinated to believe that Jesus is all about personal salvation, he died to forgive your sins, guaranteeing a ticket in your hand for flight and accommodation in that eternal retirement home called heaven.
We forget that Jesus was the culmination of the prophet voices that still echo along the corridor of history. Like resonating sound waves that join in unison and finally collide with Jesus he speaks with crystal clear passion about one thing...the Kingdom of God, and his passion for justice.
We forget Jesus the God-man lived on the margins of humanity. He lived amidst its poverty, its injustice, its oppression, its sickness and its sin. He lived so deeply in the midst of the human wreckage that the Pharisees could not really tell him apart of the sinners. As profoundly strange as it sounds he was one of them. We as Christians have a real problem with a fully human Jesus, it's extremely uncomfortable to wrestle with that reality. We like a Jesus that is 90% God and about 10% human. That is a far more comfortable Jesus. We keep our distance from that kind of Jesus. We can worship that Jesus without have to imitate his life, and live is profound mysterious parables.
We have pulled Jesus out of the world, out of the stench, out the filth and brokenness of humanity and put him under house arrest in the church building convincing ourselves that Jesus is far more concerned about the sterile vacuum of a sacred holy space. Do we imagine him wandering around a church that stands empty most week days eagerly waiting for Sunday morning when he can inhabit the praises of "his" people.