Day 160 – Radical Responsibility
On: April 9, 2015 | By: admin
| Under: Blog
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“Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. Luke 11:47-51
Hum… what to make of this lot! I’m itching to reach for a commentary for help; but no, I’m going to try and work out what God is saying to me, now. Then I will own it – whether my thoughts are “right” or “wrong” – and it will change me. That’s an exchange worth the effort.
How about this: habits get ingrained down the generations and become the cultural norm. Where these are bad habits, they will need active and determined reversing, otherwise they will roll on and become even more ingrained. If, in my generation, I fail to identify and tackle them, I am as bad as my predecessors and am culpable for their continuance. Are you with me?
What does this look like? In the material world, Western society consumes obscene amounts of limited resources. Is this in line with our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s Earth for this and future generations? Do I pile my dustbin high each week or consciously seek ways to reduce my waste? On the technology front, am I master or servant of the numerous digital toys (mobile phones etc) available to me? It is early days in their development. Will I run with the herd and acquire more and more … or weigh their addictive potential? In the behavioural realm, am I adopting the radical lifestyle of a true disciple of Jesus or compromising with the world’s way of doing things? In my neck of the woods, absurdly long working hours, excessive drinking and the assumption of continual growth in wealth are but three things that seem to me to control far too many people.
Does all this fit the text? I believe it does. If God’s people are indeed called to a radical lifestyle – in the world, but not of it – it will need us to be constantly going back to Him to review and reset our behaviours. If we default to the way things have always been done in the past, we will compound the errors of previous generations and add our own into the bargain.
We are responsible for how things are today. We can’t blame previous generations, they’re no longer on the field of play. And it is our responsibility to the next generation for how things are when it’s our turn to leave the pitch. We are called to radical responsibility. Will we assume it as a matter of urgency? Or leave it until it’s too late – and align ourselves with the ancestors that Jesus speaks of?
Father God, awaken me to aspects of contemporary life, particularly in Your church, where you want me to press for change. Amen