That may be my nerdiest title yet.
Palingensia a greek word, used only twice in the New Testament. Once in the gospels (Matthew 19:28) and once in the Epistles (Titus 3:5). It’s usually translated as regeneration, but the fuller meaning (according to Richard Rohr in his great book Jesus’ Plan For the New World), is “a new genesis, an utterly new beginning, or a totally new birth in a totally new world.”
In these days of fear, isolation, polarization, and lobbing grenades at the “other” from our foxholes of sameness, palingensia is the kind of vision I can get behind.
“Jesus,” Richard Rohr writes, “was undercutting the system of human society, refusing to take it seriously, while continuing to love and serve it.”
It’s the both parts of that sentence that make Jesus so radical, so revolutionary. He critiqued “the system” that kept those in power in power, and those who were being oppressed, oppressed, but he did so in a way that loved and served even those he was confronting.
Radical. Revolutionary. I’m in.
On today’s podcast, I offer a critique to anyone who has hitched their spiritual wagon to any political party, believing that it alone can bring the Kingdom of God – or to use Richard Rohr’s term, “a totally new birth in a totally new world.” Political parties – and governments – are necessary and they’re good as far as they go. They just don’t go nearly far enough, and they weren’t designed to. Don’t believe for a minute and any political party can bring about the change that we desperately need to see (and that we already are seeing, for those who have eyes to see, to borrow a phrase from Jesus).
I offer an invitation and a description to see with a different lens: Jesus has already begun his good work of regeneration, and it is happening in every dark corner of the world, right now. We are invited to leave behind our allegiances to anything other than the person of Jesus, who came explicitly to “to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
Enjoy. (Click here if the media player doesn’t appear below).
A Totally New Birth in a Totally New World…
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