30 June 2013 Luke 9:51-62 --- Breaking the Rules
In his book, The Rules Are No Game, Anthony Wilden says “In every situation and in every trade there was a code of rules to abide by… Bad luck aside, these rules guaranteed that you wouldn’t lodge a hook in someone’s ear, or lose your fingers to a machine, or blow your foot off… Family rules were practical guides to a combination of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for quality… These rules were no game. They were all legitimate, and still are. Some codes of rules, like some authorities, are legitimate, some are not. The test of legitimacy is the actual effect of a rule in a real context. Legitimate codes of rules enable people to express their creativity and to protect themselves and each other. Illegitimate rules serve the tyrants who create them. They drive people to destruction.”
Our rules become the tyrant when those things we believe we should do if we want to be considered respectable people prevent us from hearing the call of Jesus to follow him, or when they compel us to make serious compromises in how we follow him. How does our own following of our cultural rules of what makes a respectable person make us resemble those who made excuses about the need to bury their dead or say goodbye to their families? How does our own cultural definition of respect lead us to judge others as not respectable, or not worthy of our respect, or not worthy of our time, attention, resources or fair treatment as worthy and beloved creations of God? How can we choose to become aware of, and set aside, any cultural rules that prevent us from standing in solidarity with all human beings?