Odd: Differing from what is ordinary, usual, or expected.
Jesus said to the host who had invited him, “When you hold a lunch or dinner … invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; and blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.” —Luke 14:12–14
Richard Rohr recently wrote this. “I’d like to contrast two economies or worldviews. The first economy is capitalism, which is based on quid pro quo, reward and punishment, and justice as retribution. We’ve got to admit that this system of exchange seems reasonable to almost everybody today. It seems fair. I’m not going to say it’s wrong—it does much good.
(But) let’s contrast this with what Jesus presents. I’m going to call it a gift economy. In a gift economy, there is no equivalence between what we give and how much we get. We don’t really like this model, yet if we call ourselves Christians, we have to deal with the actual gospel of grace. Until we have begun to live in the kingdom of God instead of the kingdoms of this world, we will think exactly like the world.”
The older I get, the more I think about the kingdom of God and the teachings of Jesus, but honestly, they’re pretty daunting. I was thinking of giving a few examples, but there are just too many to cram into a blog post. “Turn the other cheek.” “Consider others better than yourselves.” “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I say to you…” (something entirely different). And so on…and on and on. Jesus’s words were countercultural, yet we’ve turned them into something else. Something more palatable. And fair. (Grace just isn’t fair.)
The world plays by its own rules, but I wonder what would happen if we played by God’s rules. The ones that operate on grace. I know, I know, they’re too impractical. They’re just too…
But really, isn’t it odd that we consider the profound goodness of grace as odd? Maybe someday, after we’ve tried everything else, we’ll embrace the odd…and our eyes will be opened.