Updated: Mar 5
On Tuesday, he talked about the Kingdom - about being in it, and about missing out. It made them uncomfortable, because it challenged age-old assumptions about in-ness and out-ness; patterns established by religion, by tradition, by assumptions that were so deeply rooted that questioning them never occurred to anybody.
Knowing who is in and who is out matters in our kind of society - who is allowed into the country, who should be kept out of the benefit system....and in so many other ways,
And we do it in Kingdom terms too; who is acceptable to God, who should we be wary of, keep under control, bring into line so that they are allowed in. Patterns we establish on the lines of sexuality, theology, form of worship, proper doctrine - whatever our particular shibboleth (yes, I know it's no longer a common word - see below!) is.
On Tuesday, he told the people who thought they were in that might just be out....
Shibboleth; Judges 12;5-6
.5 Then the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. Whenever one of the fugitives of Ephraim said, ‘Let me go over’, the men of Gilead would say to him, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’ When he said, ‘No’, 6 they said to him, ‘Then say Shibboleth’, and he said, ‘Sibboleth’, for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites fell at that time.