thanks to some inspiring (inspired?) thoughts from Clinton this morning i felt like i started to understand this week's readings. the cry for grace/mercy issued by Moses and the Psalmist is shadowed by gratitude in Paul's "testimony" (Timothy). Luke reminds us of Jesus' preference for seeking that which is/was lost and what great celebration/parties erupt when we/they are found....looking forward to what these passages provoke in our Thursday conversation. These passages remind me of Kosuke Koyama's "relationship/invitation-theology" and it's superiority to the "answer-theology" we often seek and settle for.
In his book "No Handle on the Cross", Koyama writes,
"One of the unfortunate characteristics of the Christian mission in Asia has been the presentation of the Gospel of Christ in terms of a slogan; 'Jesus is the Answer'. In my own Japanese language 'Jesus is the Answer' sounds extremely awkward, cheap and superficial. In my culture it would be understood as saying that Christianity works mechanically, therefore it has no significant spiritual dimension. But the real issue is not a cultural but a theological one. Jesus Christ means a continuous story, not a deus ex machina answer. ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but by me (John 14:6). This passage is not saying that Jesus is the answer. Instead, Jesus is inviting us to come and walk with him. What is the use of knowing the way if one does not walk on it? No! Unless one walks on the way one does not know the way. ‘I am the way’ means ‘walk with me’, the basic message throughout the biblical tradition. ‘…and the truth’ means that as we walk we will be affected by his life. And being affected by his life we begin to say ‘Abba Father’ (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15). Jesus Christ is obviously neither like Mary Poppins who straitens out a messy children’s room with a snap of her fingers, nor like Santa Claus who is carrying a bag full of sweet answers for everyone. He is more interested in establishing a relationship than in giving answers.”