dancing and dirges

Picture a group of children.

They are the kind of children that are pretty sure that they are the center of the universe.

They are the kind of children that think they can tell everyone else what to do.

They are the kind of children who think that they are the measure of what is the right think to do, the right way to think, the best way to do things.

They are the kind of children who we now deny we ever were. They are kind of children we wish we had dared to be.

They are the kind of children who are often, unfortunately, wrong.

They reason from incomplete information. They don’t have enough altitude for clear perspective. They use themselves as the standard rather than something absolute.

It is those children that Jesus uses to describe the religious people around him.

To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
‘We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge
and you did not mourn. [Matthew 11:16-17]

Jesus continued to describe them.  John, they said, had a demon. Jesus, they said, was a drunk. But “wisdom is proved right be her actions.”

Walking into a new week, Jesus offers us the choice of looking through his eyes or not.  We can listen to his music or play our own. We can spend our energy telling other people what to do without understanding or we can stop and listen.

John was obeying his calling and it looked unspeakably strict. Jesus was obeying his calling and it looked irresponsibly licentious. Each was called to a particular task to reach particular people with a particular message.

What do religious people accuse you of?