While on vacation my wife and I were walking through a store which featured beautiful hand made craft objects from around the world. Many of them made by cooperatives or micro-enterprises in underdeveloped countries. As we walked through the shop I saw a small plaque with a quote by Buddha and then another with a quote by Rumi. Both were wonderful, thought provoking quotes which caused me to pause and to reflect on what was being communicated and what it meant for my life. But I walked out of the store wondering. Would a store like that ever display in the same way a quote by Jesus of Nazareth? Maybe something like this.
Be compassionate as God is compassionate.
You are the light of the world.
Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
And, if the store did, would people pause and ponder like I did reading the quotes by Buddha and Rumi or would they walk past not seeing or thinking about what was being said? I think for many the words of Jesus have become so watered down by a cultural Christianity or tainted by the abuse and misuse of the Church that we (and others) are no longer caught off guard by the power and challenge of his words.
Maybe we need to take the words of Jesus away from the church and put them on the shelves of the stores.