The human condition regularly applies patterns and rigid information to things important to our flourishing. This practice comforts us. It gives us the perception that we will not miss, will not mess up, that we will always know the best path. Algorithms are as old as man himself.
Our tendency to do this in our belief systems magnifies this truth. Our religions, with the original intent to be spiritual and transcendent do not escape our comfort in applying rules, rites and rituals. Even those ceremonies instigated from virtue are prone to rigidity and meaninglessness.
This is a curious case in the life of a Christian. Christ followers have great confidence that the Spirit of God is their leading, that He Shepherds us in Purity, Justice and Love. This was not new in the Incarnation of Christ on this earth. God had lovingly reigned with a people for thousands of years. Jesus boldly and truthfully explained to us that He was the Exact Image of God. In other words, He told those He encountered that He was God here on Earth. His Wisdom and Spirituality was that of old. God had not changed. God had come to save us from ourselves and the enemy in the darkness.
However, the system of believing in this God had already fallen prey to the unyielding human spirit. To them, God was best characterized by a list of laws and attributes. He had been stripped of creativity and compassion. His Words had been sterilized; His personality made inflexible.
To the religious, Christ was not well-received. To those who needed life, light and love injected into their existence and survival, He was a Breath of fresh air. He was cold water in the parched mouth. He was warm bread to the starving. He was love to the unaccepted.
But to the religious executives, He was a disruption of the system they had built. He did not follow the rules. He did not perform the rites. He turned rituals on their head.
Did He honor order?
He created order.
Did He keep the law?
He fulfilled the law.
Did He save the nation from its enemies?
He saved the whole world from darkness.
Jesus Christ is infinitely good. He is the express shape, the image of God. He is entirely recognizable as such. But He is not rigid. He flows and moves, as His Spirit is free to create life and love in this world. A pattern is seen in his person, His Wisdom like pure gold.
At Siloam, a man longed for his sight. Jesus saw him and had compassion on Him. Jesus knew the very day that man’s eyes had been created and that He would glorify the Heavens one day by adding the vision that had been withheld. He knew that He and this man would have an encounter of joy, light and glory. Jesus rubbed mud on this man’s eyes and told Him to go and wash in the pool. With the water came new sight.
In every step of this encounter, Jesus broke the rules of rigidity set forth by the religious counsel. They had so skewed God’s precepts that they accused Jesus of wrecking the Sabbath. That day set apart for rest had become a heavy burden on the people. There was no rest when one was fighting fear and unforgivable laws.
This is the pattern of the Spirit of our Savior…whimsy, breath and life. Joy, freedom and trust abound. Fear is gone, and that day of rest is when we receive His wholeness and peace.
Go, splash in Siloam!