Advent Calendar Door #22 – Jesus is…an activist

Posted: December 22, 2015 by leighannegreenwood in Uncategorized

Today’s reflection was inspired by a conversation during the ‘God is Jesus’ session, during which Jamie said that he saw Jesus as an activist, using protest and theatre to challenge the status quo.


It might be a slightly flippant meme, but it does have a point. When Jesus was confronted with corruption in the temple, he reacted in dramatic fashion.

Perhaps the turning over of the tables was an expression of an overflow of emotion, or perhaps it was a very calculated decision to do something that would attract attention and start conversations. Ezekiel approached prophecy as performance poetry, and perhaps Jesus too had a flair for the theatrical and the artistic. He certainly knew what he was doing and what effect he was creating when he rode a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Either way, Jesus saw that things had gone awry and his response was not to turn away and hope someone else would deal with it, or take up his quill and write a perfectly crafted letter from Disgusted of Nazareth, but to take positive action towards change.

I’m as guilty as anyone of retreating into the safety of my own home to rant against prejudice and injustice, so please don’t think I’m speaking from higher ground here, but the truth is that we often recognise what is wrong in the world but do nothing about it, perhaps because taking on political and social systems seems too overwhelming and we don’t know what to do, or perhaps because there are too many other things knocking protest down our list of priorities.

Jesus challenges us make a stand and make it loudly and boldly. We can’t each fix all the problems of the world, and we have to pick our battles if we’re going to fight them effectively, but we are called to make our voices heard, both in prayer and in practice.




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