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This Sunday – July 19, Mercy Again

It’s hard for us to imagine how upsetting Jesus was to people who were  serious about God.  We are too removed from his culture to really feel what is going on as we read the stories.  And, the default lens of our own culture challenges an accurate visceral translation of what’s happening.

I’ve been listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, which includes a fascinating discussion on the power of culture.  Did you know that many fatal plane crashes have occurred because of the cultural norms of the pilots?  Like if the pilots come from a high ‘PDI’ culture (power distance index),where hierarchy is really respected, that a co-pilot and flight engineer will allow the captain to fly right into a mountain rather than risk correcting him or seizing the controls to pull up.   Actually, they can’t do otherwise unless they are trained to step out of their culture.  It’s unconscious for them.  They can’t resist it.  (They didn’t really know they were going into a mountain, but they did know that something wasn’t right, and they couldn’t corret it.)

It’s always hard to know what you don’t know abut your culture and someone else’s.  For example, it is hard to know how obsessed Jesus was for the welfare of people without understanding his culture.  

This Sunday night, at The Gathering Church we will look at a story where Jesus again emphasizes that the practices of faith are about the welfare of people – that people are the point! That sounds so obvious, doesn’t it?  The story is in Matthew 12:1-14, and shows Jesus violating one of the most sacred faith practices of his day.  Check it out.