There is an old Buddhist proverb that Christian Piatt shared with us at our big pub night a few months back – “If you ever meet Buddha along the road, kill him.” Then Christian, perhaps a little shockingly, suggested that we do the same for Jesus.
Granted, Christian wasn’t being literal – his point was that getting to know Jesus is a central and lifelong act of discipleship. The instant we think we have Jesus or God figured out is the same instant we probably need to start over. We won’t ever know all there is know to about the one we call Savior – there will always be something more to learn.
We can’t ever “get” Jesus completely, but we can keep getting closer to him.
It’s funny how we often do the opposite though in our spiritual walk. We put up walls as if we have gone far enough or figured everything out. This might allow us to justify our own behavior or habits as being okay, like how slave masters would use the Bible to justify owning slaves. It also could prevent us from really moving to a place where God wants us to be, being open to a mission project in our community, connecting with a neighbor who might be in need, or sharing our own grief and heartache with a community of support.
I’m grateful then that Jesus didn’t build walls. Even in our scripture that we talked about this past Sunday, Matthew 15:21-28, where Jesus at first throws up this wall to a Gentile woman who is in deep need, that wall eventually gets torn down and a table is put in its place. Jesus’ heart is opened and broken for this mother and God’s abundance is shared. Even if the text says they don’t share a literal meal, they sit at the same feast that the one at the center of all creation invites us to join.
That’s what the Table strives to be about – tearing down walls and sitting around tables – so together, we can figure out who Jesus is and what Jesus is calling us to do with our lives. That’s what I believe church should be about. That’s what I think the world needs more of. What do you think?