In St. John's, Newfoundland lives iceberg cowboy, Capt. Jerome Baker. He wrangles icebergs, similar to the one that sank the Titanic, which threaten multibillion dollar offshore oil rigs in the same treacherous waters. "It's a dangerous job, even on a calm day," Captain Baker says from the deck of his 270-foot, 9,600 horsepower boat, which has a steel-reinforced hull. "Icebergs are unpredictable and unstable."
Wrangling is an expertise that can become a developed skill to handle threatening situations. Jesus did some wrangling in His day. Some people were like huge icebergs because Religion had completely turned off their enthusiasm for joining a community of God loving people. Jesus came at the right time in history to say, "Enough is enough." He affirmed that Religion is a heartfelt expression of spirituality, but He also said that it is a Covenant-- an old term meaning unbreakable promise.
Jesus said that if we're going to practice Religion then we'll have to commit ourselves to working at it our entire lifetime. He would caution that we are not to be like unpredictable and unstable icebergs-- yet, when we are, He'll wrangle us over to a place where we're less threatening; then give us a chance to change for the better. Jesus came to say that Religion is wonderful if you do it right.
Jesus wrangled many persons in so that we might see how it was done back then, and compare to when it is done today. There was the woman accused of adultery (John 7:53-8:11), the woman with the crippling spirit (Luke 13:10-17), the woman called sinner (Luke 7:36-50), and the woman who anointed Jesus at Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13). Also, there was Nicodemus (John 2:23-3:21), the fickle crowd (John 7:1-52), the first Disciples (John 1:35-51), and the CEO from Capernaum (John 4:46-54).
Jesus' last words were commissioning us to be wranglers (Matthew 28:16-20). He said that it's up to us to become wranglers ourselves, so that the heartfelt Religion that Jesus shows us can be taught and can be offered through Baptism to everyone-- even icebergs.
Jesus says, "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org