Listenings: Walking Together (2)

When Jesus walks with us on the journey from sorrow to joy, he not only enters into our suffering, he moves us from what Nouwen describes as “foolishness.”

Nouwen rightly points out that to be called “foolish” is a hard pill to swallow (p. 47).  But immediately we see that Jesus is using the word differently.  He was not calling the travelers idiots.

No, he says they were “slow to believe.”  And from Christ’s point of view, that is the main way we are foolish.  We hang on too long to our way of looking at things.  “This is what has happened” the two told themselves, and “this is what it means.”

But how wrong they were!  Their brain-frame was not large enough to encompass the divine panorama.

And that is our foolishness still—“I know what’s happening, and I know what it means.”

Jesus comes and simply says, “Really?”

And in that moment, we have a choice—to hold on to our way of looking at things, or allow him to show us more than we can ask or imagine.  We are invited to shift our trust from the power of our reason to the perspective of his revelation.  This does not mean leaving our brains behind.  It simply means putting them into Christ’s hands.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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