“What do you want?” The tone says it all. The words are more of a put-down than a question spoken by a belligerent teen or a ticked off boss. But when the question is asked by someone who really wants to know, it can be a key that opens a mysterious door with wonders inside.
“What do you want?” are the first words of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel. I love that.
And we know without checking, don’t we, that the answer was surely not, “We want change!” Of course not. We hate change. It is unsettling and annoying and makes us feel out of control and uncomfortable. Who in the world would ask for change?
Thus say the privileged ones, the satisfied ones, without reflecting first. Would any of Jesus’ disciples have followed him if they were satisfied with the status quo?
Living with the Nuxalk people in Bella Coola, I was aware of all sorts of situations that I wanted to see changed; everything from the return of the ooligan to the Bella Coola river, to more employment opportunities, to healing for residential school survivors and their families, and ever so much more.
A couple weeks ago I spoke with a friend working in Silicon Valley who wants the attitudes of male employers to change. She’s sick and tired of blatant sexism.
There’s nothing like caring for a refugee family to fuel one’s desire for wars to end, for power-mongering to cease.
Imagine that Jesus asked us, “What do you want?” really wanting to know the answer. Imagine that we knew and were honest with him.
“What do you want, Mennonite Church Canada?”
What do we want? WHAT do we want? What DO we want? What do WE want? What do we WANT?
Imagine that we told Jesus and listened for his response.
What a conversation!
Donna Dinsmore is the intentional transitional pastor at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary, Alta. This article originally appeared in the MCA Communiqué.