My takeaways from recent sessions of Jesus the Forgiving Victim:
• We need a way to discover the humanity of those we think are oddballs (ref. Jesus’ story about the Gerasene demoniac).
• In his crucifixion, Jesus deliberately occupied a place of shame to show the world the sinfulness of scapegoating.
In this Sunday’s session, James Alison explains why we separateourselves from other people. We often find our own identities by differentiating ourselves from others. For example, when we join a group, we sometimes find our place in it by comparing it to other groups.
Alison illustrates how we might overcome our separation from others. He cites Peter’s vision of an angel who tells him to eat food that is forbidden for Jews (in Acts 10). Simultaneously, an angel appears to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, asking him to send for Peter. Usually forbidden to visit Romans, Peter says, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane.” Peter visits Cornelius and his relatives and friends and tells them about reconciliation taught by Jesus.
Barry Evans, Facilitator