Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                              May 26, 2008
They Were Sawed in Two
My Reflections
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One of the things we must remember is Jesus's kingdom is political. As such, there's been and will be casualties of war; Christ-followers who die by the sword.
Although we should always remember those who gave their lives for American freedom, we should also remember those who gave their lives for the kingdom of heaven.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: Remembering the Fallen
They Were Sawed in Two 
Excerpt from Hebrews by anonymous author
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground (NIV).
My Reflections

Just after imploring his followers to love their enemies, Jesus makes this seemingly out of place follow-up statement: "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Mt 5:48).
But as you already know, Jesus doesn't make out of place statements. In this case, Jesus was making this strong point: perfection isn't only about a life that hits the mark (Torah language), it's also about the coming of the Kingdom through weakness.
Jesus is our model. How was it, exactly, that Jesus thwarted the rebellious powers? He did it via one of the most subversively weak sequences the world has ever known. He stands quiet, is struck, spit upon, and nailed to a tree. And he wins.
This Memorial Day, I'm reminded that oftentimes church life is about dying: standing quiet, being struck, and so on. The same is true for an advancing heavenly kingdom: it advances not through power, but weakness.
Watch this short video clip and be reminded power is often demonstrated through bold weakness.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table