‘Two sides of the same coin’ is a common enough saying. So, it came to mind as I was reading the temptation of Jesus in the desert followed by his preaching in the synagogue.
In the wilderness, he was sustained by reading scripture. He developed faith in the sustaining goodness of God. He re-affirmed living so as not to try God’s patience.
But when preaching he advocated the needs of the poor, aiding the bound and standing up for the oppressed.
One then was the way to the Kingdom and the other was the Kingdom – two sides of the same coin.
Today, congregations constantly hear the need for discipleship and mission. Yet, too often, that means getting people to agree with our beliefs and practices. Bluntly, we just want more backsides on seats each Sunday.
Yet this is such a short-sighted strategy.
Since Christ inspired the crowd by projecting a vision that fulfilled their needs and hopes. He invited them not to live for the vision but to join him in that vision. He wanted the two sides to be on the same side.
Therefore, to cheekily paraphrase a more recent visionary; too often Christians have sought to save their church, the point is to change it.