Q How do you deal with power without appealing to power??
A The Cross is symbol of Roman domnination — and Jesus transformed it
The Symbol of Cross means peace thru suffering, not through torture and dominationn
Elaboration: Jesus was crucified by the Romans which symbolized their power to torture and dominate anyone who opposed their authority.
300 years later, when the Romans claimed to embrace cross, it’s not clear who really won — the powers of righteousness or evil. Because when the Romans embraced the cross they continuted in the same way, to use it as an instrument of torture and domination. They painted crosses on their shields and swords.
There are two kinds of evil: not just people abusing power — but also systemic evil.
If Jesus heals blindness, paralysis, deafness — it is a victory for the individual he heals. But it is also a victory over the condition of blindness or deafness.— a systemic evil.
When Jesus casts the demons into pigs, what was their name? — Legion — Is there a hint of something else there, something beyond pigs? What was the name of the Roman armies? – Legion.
Did the Romans belong in Palestine? Did the pigs belong in Palestine? When Jesus sent the pigs over the cliff, was he sending a signal about another unllawful eflock that did not belong in Israel?
Consider the systemic evil of racism.
Martin Luther King opposed it with a spiritual movement — not using what Paul called “carnal weapons” —
Jesus showed us two ways to confront power:
1. Tell the truth — confront power by telling the truth
2. Suffering — we will know we are on the side of Jesus by instead of making other suffer, we suffer
what does it lok like in our day to day lives
Instead of having the pleasure of setting them right, we forgive and don’t respond
accept you’re not wanted — leave and move on.
Q. Would telling the truth mean telling the truth about ourselves?? (laughter)
A. No. (laughter)
Yes, we need to be transparent, and deal with the anger and ressentment we feel as victims of power.
Next Brian recounted the story of a Serbian bishop who was betrayed by his fellow priests to the Nazis — and sent to Dachau. There, he found himself feeling very angry and betrayed by one or more of his supposed friends. So he worked on his own attitude and it resulted in this prayer:
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world. They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself. They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments. They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself. They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish. Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a [fly].
Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.
Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:
So that my fleeing will have no return; So that all my hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs; So that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul; So that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
So that I might amass all my treasure in heaven; Ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself. One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies. Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies. A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands.
For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.