Daily Riches: Today’s Need For an Alternative History (Richard Rohr)

“The political terms right and left came from the Estates General in France. It’s interesting that now we use them as our basic political categories. On the left sat the ordinary people, and on the right sat the nobility and the clergy! (What were the clergy doing over there?!) I think you see the pattern. The right normally protects the community and the status quo. The left predictably looks for change and reform, and there is a certain need for both or we have chaos. In history you will invariably have these two movements in some form, because we didn’t have the phenomenon of the middle class until very recently. The vast majority of people in all of history have been poor, as in Jesus’ time, and would have read history as a need for change. The people who wrote the books and controlled the social institutions, however, have almost always been the comfortable people on the right. And much of history has been read and interpreted from the side of the ‘winners,’ or the right, except for the unique revelation called the Bible, which is an alternative history from the side of the enslaved, the dominated, the oppressed, and the poor, leading up to the totally scapegoated Jesus himself. …He tries to put inside and outside together, but is killed by those entrapped and privileged on the inside.” Richard Rohr

“the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
Matthew 27:61-63

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • According to your social and economic status today, would you typically be on the left or right? …with the privileged or powerless?
  • Accordingly, if you were to insert yourself into the Biblical story, would you be more likely with the religious and political authorities (preserving tradition and order), or with Jesus (dissenting and challenging authority)?
  • The Bible is clearly “an alternative history” from the perspective of the bottom. Have you read it that way? Does thinking about it that way change the way you see our world now?
  • Can you imagine the reception Jesus would receive if he came today as he did back then? …who would be for him and who against him? …what you would do?

Jesus, may I be found, like you, siding with the weak and poor.

For More: Yes, And... by Richard Rohr


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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