Sunday, August 21, 2016 Reflections on Luke 13:22-30
by Elizabeth Dede
Luke wrote his Gospel especially for the Gentiles. They were Christians who had not come to the faith through the teachings, beliefs and traditions of the Jewish faith. They were often looked down on and left out because of they were outsiders. So Luke has Jesus teaching and talking to these outsiders, as well as giving a warning to the good Jewish people of the day.
The Jewish Christians believed that they had the way into the Kingdom of God because of their history. Jesus, here, admonishes the Jews, and warns them that they may very well be on the outside looking in to the Kingdom of God. Their belief in the prophets will not be enough to get them a seat next to the prophets in the Kingdom. They need to go through a transformation, just like the Gentiles that Luke is writing to.
This is a Gospel lesson for us, too. We can’t simply rely on our backgrounds, on the faith of our fathers and mothers, on the tradition of our families. We, too, are called to a transformation of our lives because the new order, as Clarence Jordan says, is impinging upon our lives.
What does that new order look like? We live in a world where material things grab all our attention. We are especially caught up by technology, and many of us feel that we need to have the latest gadget—smart phones, tablets, laptops. My materialism compels me to collect more and more musical instruments. I have more than I can ever hope to play well.
Fortunately, in community we have a way to transform our lives. We live together and share all things in common. We live on an allowance that the rest of the United States would define as poverty wages. We share meals together. We have common computers. We share housing. We have a common closet for clothes. We even share our children so that they are raised by many, rather than just by two parents. All of this brings us great joy. We find that we do not miss the things that the world tells us are necessary for the good life.
Some would say that we are among the last. We have fallen behind in what the world calls the good life. But we are making an attempt at solidarity with those who are considered last in this world. And so we look for ways to enter by the narrow gate. We are constantly trying to live a life more dedicated to each other, and less to the self-serving bent of our society.
Jesus teaches here that many who are last will be first. I have a long way to go, but I am trying to enter by the narrow gate. I hope that my life here in community at Koinonia is a step in that direction. Amen.