May 13, 2008

who's the boss

Over the weekend I read a buddy's blog post about how hard it must be for a Jewish person to reimagine their faith (should he/she consider becoming a Christian). To many people, this is a spiritual shift - hard enough in itself. A Jewish individual, though, faces a shift on a cultural and familial level as well.

When I was in Israel some years ago, I saw this firsthand in the dramatic ways the whole city shut down on Saturday to honor the Sabbath... from towns of businesses that shut down to how elevators automatically went from floor to floor in buildings (so you wouldn't have to do the "work" of pushing a button). Perhaps "dramatic" is too misleading a word... maybe this is actually normal, but our Western departure from it is what is actually "dramatic." There is something a cultural Jew seems to get that many Christians don't.

On the other hand, there is that whole Messiah matter. Christians recognize that the Messiah figure in the Hebrew Scriptures is Jesus Christ... and many Jews don't.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Is 11:1)

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King [the Messiah] who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jer 23:5)

Perhaps it would be easy for a Christian who feels he "gets it" to critique a Jew for this, but maybe one should walk in their shoes for a moment.

Imagine that you have tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert... live... front row... direct access (which is good in case he wants to pull you up stage during "Dancing In The Dark" and help launch your career as he did Courtney Cox) .

Whether or not you're a Springsteen fan, you're stoked.

And then you get there... the crowd is crazy... and finally the emcee announces, "And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... THE BOSS!!!!"


instead of Bruce coming out, actor Rick Moranis takes the stage and begins singing, "Born in the USA."
"He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." (Isaiah 53:2)

I wonder sometimes if this is how the Jews feel, while we say, "Well, I know He didn't show up as you thought He would, but... you know... he did do Sprinsteen songs, so technically..."


irreverend fox said...

hey Tony!

help me understand what you mean when you say that a Jewish person must reimagine THEIR faith if they were to become a Christian...can you unpack that a bit for me?

let's try and get together again to catch up, if that's ok.

Becky; said...

Perhaps it would be easy for a Christian who feels he "GETS IT" to critique a Jew for this, but maybe one should walk in their shoes for a moment.

Why are we the most annoying then?

Tony Myles said...

Gary - Just the obvious... changing a paradigm of faith requires reimagining all the things you've concluded to be true. At the end of that process, you may find some of what you've assumed is true, but on the other hand - much can be untrue.

This is where the shift takes place, but it can only happen if you suspend your conclusions for even the briefest of moments. For some reason, people have a hard time doing that... including you and me.

In the case of this post, a hypothetical Jew would be one who believes the Messiah will come, but hasn't yet. Do you see where there is room for reimagination?

Becky - probably because we come across as know it alls. We try to be humble about it, but let's face it - when you believe you're right about someone who beleves the opposite, you get a little cocky smile.