Journey: So…what?

[Note: this meditation is coming to you on Saturday, as a way of synchronizing it with McLaren’s writing, which next corresponds to Holy Week]

Read: “The Choice is Yours”

Every good preacher ends a sermon with some kind of decisive moment.  Jesus is no different.  The end of the Sermon on the Mount is essentially asking the question, “So, what are you going to do with what I have said?”

McLaren does a good job summarizing Jesus’ message.  Read his summary slowly, carefully, and prayerfully–because after you do, the Holy Spirit will be there asking, “So…what?”

It is this question that moves theology into practical divinity.  It is this question that moves theory into practice– information into formation—doctrine into discipleship.

Notice that the Jesus way does not bypass, diminish, or leave behind theology, theory, information, or doctrine.  We cannot obey what we do not know.  We cannot follow what we have not seen.  We cannot live what we have not learned.

But…when we have seen and heard, when we have received and considered—we must respond and enact.  The Jesus way says, “Believe and behave–profess and perform.”  That is why decisions always come in pairs, as McLaren shows,and why we must always choose one or the other..  That is why “So…what?” is the unavoidable question whenever we have been addressed by God.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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