Does everybody want to change your thinking?
Sometimes it seems that everybody wants to change our way of thinking. That has probably always been true. But it certainly feels truer now in our polarized lives.
Politically, people want us to think red or blue! Scientifically, we must choose between seeing climate change as a reality or a hoax. Religiously, it seems we are not even sure if the Pope is Catholic!
Many are confused. People are once again asking “what is truth” but… believe only their version of the truth. Often, all this comes to a head even in the intimacy of our families.
Does even God want you to change your mind?
You bet! God even sent Jesus to talk to us about changing our minds.
Of course, God sent a lot of other messengers before Jesus! We call them prophets. They have names like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Ezekiel. These prophets did not tell the future. They were messengers from God who connected the dots about where lives were headed if people didn’t change their way of thinking. At other times, they paint a picture of hope and encouragement.
According to Jesus the greatest of the prophets was his cousin John the Baptist. John’s message was direct. Repent! Change your way of thinking… and acting. But people don’t like to be challenged to change their way of thinking, much less the way they act. So John lost his head.
Jesus picked up the theme, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Repent actually means changing your way of thinking.
But Jesus was no ordinary prophet!!. He was the word made flesh…and a master storyteller. People could relate to each of the stories he toldy
Still, we see how often they missed the point of the stories… change your way of thinking. Just think of his classic story of the Good Samaritan. He challenged the church lawyers to change their way of thinking about who their neighbor was and their responsibility to care for the wounded in life. They were not very happy with that challenge to their way of thinking.
The greatest challenge to our way of thinking
What do you think is the most powerful challenge to our way of thinking?
Jesus is the greatest challenge to change our way of thinking! Even more than his stories and sermons, the fact that Word became flesh was his greatest challenge to our way of thinking.
He came into our midst when we were so entrenched in our way our thinking that we could not believe him. Yes, they were prepared to follow God … the Almighty, the King, the ruler! .. not a servant God.
Jesus knew how difficult it was to change our way of thinking about God, so he showed us what it meant to serve. So after his last Supper he, the Son of God, washed their feet! He acted out service. If I, who you think of as your Lord, washed your feet, wash one another’s feet. Do it in memory of me and the example I have just given you.
Then just to make sure they knew he really meant it, he accepted all the sufferings entailed in his crucifixion. The cross showed there was no limit to how we should love our neighbor.
Paul understood when he wrote of having the same way of thinking like Jesus.
Ever since we have been struggling with this call to change our way of thinking… to think like Jesus who prayed the night before he died that all might be one not just in word but in action.