Photo above: CFM vocational students, Christians and Muslims, from different ethnic backgrounds, volunteer to work together, to restore houses burnt down by ethnic conflict. Roofs, ceilings, walls, plastering, electrics, windows, all restored. Bringing a new rule and order to communities.
We need to know how to resist. So many comply. In Jesus’ day family members betrayed one another, “the love of many grew cold.” They complied. Jesus built a movement that resisted.
The feeding of the 5,000 in the wilderness was an act of resistance. Here was an economy that was cut off from the Pharaoh. Jesus was acting as the second Moses, feeding the multitude that had left the empire, proving that God was their loving source of all things. The same goes for today. We don’t need to fear the “can’t buy or sell without the mark” strategy of all empires. Jesus created an economy that was solvent without the temple business, taxes and corruption. This was his great “crime” of the day. He was challenging the monopoly, with a divine mandate of freedom: freedom to serve all.
If that wasn’t enough, it would only get worse in the book of Acts, after the Spirit filled the church and many understood what Jesus’ kingdom was about. Caring for one another from house to house, they bypassed the monopoly. Refusing the divisions of empire, and receiving one another in one open-house economy (whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, educated or not, male or female) they resisted all the propaganda of the day. It’s like vaxxed and unvaxxed. It breaks empire in pieces, challenging billions of dollars of illicit profits, returning this money to the poor, from where it was stolen.
We see Jesus strongly denouncing the corruption, especially after his triumphant entry the week before his execution. He was the whistle-blower, and was cast out of the mainstream, just like whistle-blowers are today. But what was his solution? It was a kingdom of forgiveness, which is spiritual and financial, that removes debts and makes us one with our neighbour. It’s a kingdom of courage, not of fear, that opens our house.
Today we read about this kingdom of resistance in America. A group of cancelled police officers and firemen, who had lost their jobs because they refused to give up their health and God-given freedom, went out to use their own substance to feed the homeless. These are all illegal acts in the “brave new world order.” Religion and faith that isn’t prescribed by the elite: illegal! Economic acts, providing product to others, that don’t come through the monopoly: illegal! The right over one’s own health: illegal! These are things the elite are vigorously moving to take away from the world to install themselves as “self-appointed kings.” We can resist like these police are resisting, by refusing to give up acts of legitimate rule, portraying God’s self-giving image into our neighbourhoods.
This is our choice: comply and die, or resist and live. Freedom is ours if we take it, Jesus’ way.