Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday Easter Reflections "What Can I Do For You"

"What Can I Do For You" Bob Dylan
You have given everything to me
What can I do for You?
You have given me eyes to see
What can I do for You?

Pulled me out of bondage and You made me renewed inside
Filled up a hunger that had always been denied
Opened up a door no man can shut and You opened it up so wide
And You’ve chosen me to be among the few
What can I do for You?

You have laid down Your life for me
What can I do for You?
You have explained every mystery
What can I do for You?

Soon as a man is born, you know the sparks begin to fly
He gets wise in his own eyes and he’s made to believe a lie
Who would deliver him from the death he’s bound to die?
Well, You’ve done it all and there’s no more anyone can pretend to do
What can I do for You?

You have given all there is to give
What can I do for You?
You have given me life to live
How can I live for You?

I know all about poison, I know all about fiery darts
I don’t care how rough the road is, show me where it starts
Whatever pleases You, tell it to my heart
Well, I don’t deserve it but I sure did make it through

What can I do for You?

   Considering I bought the original 'cassette' release of "Saved" by Dylan, I hadn't been aware of this track so much as the bigger hot single and the whole "Slow Train Comin'" phase of his music. This was the music track for the 'brown paper wall and pastels' response opportunity at Wednesday's Adamstown 'Reflective Stations'... of which I took a fuzzy photo...

   My pastel picture is about the U2 song "Yahweh" and the idea of saying 'take these shoes... shirt... and these hands...' as symbolic of committing ourselves to be contributors to the shape of the world, the way community happens and by what values we live!! I thought the Dylan song was a perfect soundtrack for people's own reflections...

And so it's Good Friday... 
   A reminder of costly things that matter, of someone who lived and died by the simple truth he understood as love, compassion and grace... beyond that all he did was stay true to those values, to speak truth, to treat those in need with compassion and to offer grace to the suffering, opressed and disconnected!! And it cost him his life...
   The cross is an imposing symbol of so many things, chief among them for me is 'solidarity' or the knowledge that Jesus expression of God's vision for a just world included personal sacrifice for the sake of others... this is a serious, lived out, substantial and life affirming stance for humanity. He saved his worst criticism and anger for hypocrisy and the preoccupations of empty religious observance [or worse still, apathetic or profiteering corruption]!!
   When I think 'Good Friday' I think of my own broken life, shallowness and times of failing to fully embrace his essential values. Not in an exercise of self loathing or critique, but just in a way of making a quiet commitment to do and be better!!
   This makes more sense to me than most of the crap I read, as laziness or closed mindedness masquerading as 'theology'... I suppose it is theology, it just needs a different adjective in front of it...
   How we speak of God, reflecting our own lives, context and experiences can be reshaping God in our own image, but an honest attempt to answer the questions people are 'actually asking' is more likely to reflect the next real steps any of us can take to do and be better, rather than to spin a line, to pump ourselves up or to feel we have total responsibility in any one moment to 'apologise' for God. This is the task of connecting Scripture with life in context and how Jesus speaks as the unfolding revelation of the 'good news'... which in many ways that made sense in a former time, simply won't be heard in that way... something many people fail to see...
   As communities of the people of God, unless we embrace this task in a broader and more missional way [not as programs but as our identity] we risk creating 'museums' while to paraphrase an excellent stirrer I know, the caravan of God's Spirit rolls on and we are left with not much more than splinters and dust!!

Well, that's something of what I would say if I was offering a Good Friday Reflection today!!

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