#ClashofCulture #JezebelWasUsed #AbuseofPower #Politics&Religion #ListentoLearn #CheckYourPrivilege #LetsTalk #LoveWins #StoptheBullying #StoptheScapegoating #StoptheHate #LoveYourNeighbor #MakeGodSmile
One of the things that serious scholarship and thoughtful people consider when listening to a story – any story – is the context. Why did the writer paint the picture that they painted? What was their motivation and purpose in telling the story that they told?
This past Sunday, I kicked off our “Bad-Girls-of-the-Bible” sermon series with a deep dive into the much-maligned Phoenician Princess – Jezebel.
You don’t need to be a student of scripture to know who I am talking about, because everybody – including Webster’s Dictionary – has an opinion about this Queen, whose name is synonymous with shameful wickedness in women.
But what you may not know, because of the motivations of the patriarchy and the religious purists who wrote her story (and then interpreted it through the ages) – is that Jezebel was used – for both political and religious purposes.
She was an immigrant and a woman who claimed her royal power and she practiced a different religion than the dominant one.
So it was this clash of culture and power that was the real problem with Jezebel.
Unfortunately, as the powerful are wont to do – no one in the story would consider the experience of the other. Each was certain that their way was the right way. And they never sat across a table to listen and learn from each other.
The truth is, Jezebel was bullied by the religious and political powerbase. And in the end – she met a horrible death, scapegoated for being different.
I wonder what might have changed if they had had a conversation about their common human experience.
Beloved – my heart is heavy today with the weight of the scapegoating and bullying that is happening in our own religious and political scene – here in Medford and across the country.
We shame people for faith practices and political beliefs that are not aligned with ours.
Democracy is endangered when we bully volunteers and elected officials who disagree with our perspective.
We fail to love our neighbor when we dismiss the lived experience of anyone.
And, friends – we break God’s heart when we scapegoat others for just being different.
I wonder, what might unfold in our city if we were to stop the posturing and bullying and start listening with open minds and hearts – to each other and to all of God’s beloved children.
Maybe, just maybe – we could heal and find a new way forward – and God would surely smile.
Click here to hear more about Jezebel – and join us this Sunday at 10:30 because everybody needs a little sanctuary.
See you soon.