What is Normal?


I think Jim Wallis is right: We can't normalize what is happening in our nation, especially as followers of Jesus. Through his radical compassion for and identification with the poor, Jesus prophetically criticized what was "normal" and "accepted" in his culture. He also demonstrated another way, offering a new "normal" that was very different from the numbness of the Empire.


In his book, Prophetic Imagination, Brueggemann writes:


"Empires live by numbness. Empires, in their militarism, expect numbness about the cost of war. Corporate economies expect blindness to the cost in terms of poverty and exploitation. Governments and societies of domination go to great lengths to keep numbness intact. Jesus penetrates this numbness by his compassion and with his compassion takes the first step by making visible the odd abnormality that had become business as usual" (88).


From the linked article:


"It is theologically and spiritually powerful to understand, especially in the face of our own political context, that the Incarnation came to our poorest streets. Jesus was born poor, later announces his mission at Nazareth as “bringing good news to the poor,” and then tells us that how we treat “the least of these” is his measure of how we treat and love him. That radically defined all of our social contexts clearly revealing the real meaning of Christmas, whatever is on the signs at the shopping malls."


-Pastor John