The Reason We Miss What God is Doing

christianity theology

I just finished my ninth read through Walter Brueggemann's book, The Prophetic Imagination. This book is so good and I continue to find something new with each read. For example, this passage stood out to me for the first time.

Thus the teaching presumed a contrast between that to which we cling and a future for which we yearn. The ministry of Jesus... happens in the space between the clinging and the yearning. If there is only clinging, then the words are only critical. If there is yearning, there is a chance that the words are energizing. The staggering works of Jesus—feeding, healing, casting out, forgiving—happened not to those who held on to the old order but to those who yearned because the old order had failed them or squeezed them out.

The contrast Brueggemann creates is between those who cling to the old order and those who yearn for something new because the old order failed them.

Which one of these words resonates with your experience today?

Clinging to the old will cause us to miss the new that Jesus brings. Yet there is security in the old ways, especially if they've served us well. But as Carlos Rodriguez has challenged, "When we’re not hungry for justice, it’s usually because we’re too full with privilege." If something new doesn't sound appealing to us we would do well to ask why.

A few things this applies to:

  • The way we think church should be done
  • What we think should be normal in our culture
  • Which laws we agree with and which ones we oppose

Each of us will likely lean toward those things that benefit us in one way or another. That means this tension of clinging vs yearning is something we must actively fight for. And whether or not we do will dramatically shape our life.

Jesus is disproportionately found among those who have been "squeezed out," to use Brueggemann's phrase. When we cling to our comforts and our preferences we actually miss out on what Jesus is doing around us.

And if you're wondering why I keep reading Brueggemann's book, click here to check it out for yourself.

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