Thursday, May 22, 2014

Abi ponders privilege and purpose....

There has been something that keeps coming back to me these past few months, as I have been pondering patriarchy and the purpose of God.  It is something that one of my college professors, Dr. Knofel Staton, used to just hammer into us:  Privilege is given for a purpose.  If the purpose is abandoned, the privilege is no longer valid.

God called Abram to be the Father of the Hebrew people.  Not because Abram was exceptional, but because God was faithful. The Hebrew people were set apart as God's chosen people.  Not because they were exceptional, but because God was faithful. God was, as Baxter Kruger so frequently says, preparing the Womb of the Incarnation.

Abram, when his name was changed to Abraham, became the first of the great patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each of these men were deeply flawed in character, but God was faithful.  They were given privilege in order for the purposes of God to be accomplished.  When they held to the privilege and lost sight of the purpose, things did not go well.

In those times we saw the cHesed of God move to prevent disaster in what we call wrath. Wrath, since it is an aspect of cHesed (love, grace, mercy), does not strike without warning.  Those on whom wrath is visited usually know they have strayed.  (I think Job may be one exception.)

The patriarchs and the prophets and the priests and the kings of the Hebrew people frequently had problems keeping their privilege aligned with the purpose of YHWH. They too often became enamored of the glory and honor that accompanied the privilege...and not only forgot the purpose, but frequently they abused their privileged positions.

When the fullness of time had come, and the Womb of the Incarnation was fully prepared, Jesus took up human flesh in order to dwell among humans and bring about their Adoption--which, by the way, has always been the purpose.

Jesus--by his words and deeds--gave notice to the patriarchs and prophets and priests and kings that their time of privilege was coming to an end. The Holy Spirit was about to be poured out upon all flesh, and Father, Son and Spirit would dwell within each of us.  We would become a Royal Priesthood for King Jesus and God would hold the title of Father in the Kingdom of God.

Throughout history there have been those who continue to grasp tightly to the privileged positions which Jesus set aside. Clearly they had not understood...they did not wish to understand...they were unable to understand.  The mind that is not renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit remains darkened and confused. And so history is cluttered with those who would claim privileged positions given by God...but who used their privilege for their own, or others, purposes and call them God's purpose.  Multitudes of the abused cry out against their abuses.

Surely, I do not need to list out the abuses of the Popes, bishops, priests, kings, nobles, officers, leaders...those who used their privilege to deprive others of their privilege as Children of God and Joint Heirs with Jesus.

I mourn the millennia of abused and confused privilege...and rejoice where it has been rectified by the work of the Holy Spirit.  There is, unfortunately, much work yet to be done.

Happily, the Word of the Lord does not return void.  This victory is already won...but it has not yet been fully realized.

May we each, in our own way, be beacons of the Kingdom...where all are brothers and sisters in Christ and only Jesus is Lord and God is Father...where the purpose of reconciliation and restoration can only be delayed but not thwarted.

We walk in suffering solidarity on this journey with those oppressed by the hand of men who hold to a privilege that has been rescinded because its purpose has already been accomplished.  May they see that there is a new task set before us by the Master....

Patience is a difficult discipline, but our God is full of love and grace and mercy for us as They walk the path with us.

Be blessed...

No comments: