Reading in Luke today (chapter 8 ff) and noted the radical senses - the upside down directions - of Jesus' teachings.
Culture says: Your neighbor is one who lives close, acts like you.
Jesus says: Your neighbor is one you help when you see their need. (10:25-37)
Culture says: Guests coming? Go to great lengths to prepare.
Jesus says: Don't fuss and fume, simplicity. "Only one thing is necessary." (10:42)
Culture says: Your family heritage makes you great. (11:27)
Jesus says: Blessed are those who hear the word of God and do it.
Culture says: There's lots to be worried about out there...prepare, prepare.
Jesus says: You are valuable to the Father...don't worry. (12:29)
Culture says: The greatest among you is the one just voted into office.
Jesus says: The greatest among you is the least. (9:46-48)
Religious culture says: Do your thing, and frown on others.
Jesus says: Accept others, "the one who is not against you is for you." (9:49-50)
Jesus, your truth is what sets us free. Our culture works in the now, but brings with it all the ego stuff and frenzy stuff, and in eternity, loss, great loss. Would you help us to keep moving in the direction of YOU?..even if at times it feels very upside down? Amen.