Sunday meditation … a beautiful movement

My friend Bill Duncan was the first person to recommend Paul Hawken’s book Blessed Unrest to me some time ago. Then many people recommended his amazing commencement address. A few days ago my friend Graeme Codrington recommended this short video featuring Hawken (about 6 min):

Destructive, dehumanizing ideologies – whether they be racism, nationalism, communism, capitalism, socialism, industrialism, secularism, reductionism, chauvinism, religious supremacy/exclusivism – have driven our world to this precipice of stress, breakdown and suicidal behavior. But thanks be to God, there is a healing movement afoot, an uprising of blessed unrest that I believe reflects the moving of the Spirit of God.
As in Jesus’ day, this movement is full of ironies: people who think themselves first and foremost are often found sitting on the sidelines criticizing it, or so engrossed in arguments about other things that they’re missing it entirely. Meanwhile, people who consider themselves disqualified outsiders find themselves right in the thick of it, participating as unwitting agents of God’s saving love.
I stumbled more deeply into all this as I researched and wrote SMJ and EMC … and I’ve become convinced that the new kind of Christianity that is emerging around the world has a key role to play in this beautiful thing that God is doing at this critical moment.
Today I’m imagining a sunny day in Galilee when a crowd of over 5000 gathered to hear Jesus teach about a new movement he called the Kingdom of God. It was a movement of reconciliation, not revenge … healing, not abuse … liberation, not oppression … stewardship, not exploitation … celebration, not fear. This beautiful day came in the aftermath of the latest horrible atrocity committed by the emperor’s local puppet ruler (Herod’s murder of John the Baptizer). In contrast to Herod’s violence and corruption, this day with Jesus was filled with peace, hope, and mutual service .
At the end of the day, Jesus led the crowd in a kind of divine guerrilla theater, as the people demonstrated an alternative faith-based local economy of abundance, giving, and sharing, exposing the imperial economy’s greed, hoarding, and fear. May that beautiful movement continue and spread in and among us all today. For where evil and ugliness abound, God’s grace and beauty abound all the more.