God's fruit is not built

Last night there was a discussion after dinner about political action and I brought up the thoughts in yesterday's journal entry. About the difference between "action" and "living." The difference between staged political events, rationally planned to produce some effect, and our natural, inspired responses to situations that we encounter in life. The previous evening I had been talking with another couple about learning to use our natural emotional energy to motivate a response in challenging situations. We often stifle this (in the moment) and opt for a more controlled response once we have "cooled off." This way is seen as "more effective." But this starts to look much more like political action than living.

And how about Jesus? As I look at the settings and the play of his emotions when he delivers his strongest challenges, they seem much more like life. Two examples:

Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.

And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." He said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.

And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the [crippled] man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mk 3.1-5)

A Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.

And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places. Woe to you! for you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it."

One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also." And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! for you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you!" (Lk 11.37-47)

Even in the story most used by political activists to validate their methods, Jesus seems to act, not in clear-headed calculation, but in the passion of the moment:
When he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation."

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers." (Lk 19.41-46)

Jesus was moved by the Spirit within him, the Spirit of life. And this is also what we should be attentive to in all the situations that life presents us, rather than trying to produce results through our own orchestrated "events."

God's fruit is not built, it grows.