How is the riven social body, with its divisions between poor and rich, to be healed?
In both Luke’s account of the Ethiopian eunuch and John’s discussion of love, the New Testament holds out the promise of a chastened yet real utopian vision, founded in God’s self-gift in King Jesus.
For the disciples on the Emmaus Road, the resurrection was the key to unlocking the meaning of Israel’s history. As a master key, however, its power extends further, opening up our eyes to the one in whom all of human life and history holds together.
In the declamation of Isaiah 1, the prophet associates Judah and its rulers with Sodom, for their inhospitality, injustice, and the presumption that they can hide this from God. Zacchaeus, a man characterized by such Sodom-like injustice, is delivered from this as justice is welcomed into his house in the person of Jesus.
According to 1 Kings 8, prayer is what Israel is supposed to do in times of helpless hopelessness. The temple is where they turn when there is nowhere to turn. Israel as a whole was invited to appeal to the High King for help in times of trial, and the text leads us to wonder if every polity directs its hopes toward a temple.