No offense to the Beatles and the hippy-dippy peace-and-love movement they led in the sixties*, but Jesus was no counter-cultural, anti-establishment hippy-dippy who wore “love beads” and led his followers around to the tune of “All ya need is love!”
But he was hippy-ish, if you will, in the sense of being counter-cultural and anti-establishment to the core.
Jesus lived in the world, but was not of the world and all the world’s man-made “systems.”
He lived contrary to all the powers-that-be — that is, the “system(s)” that the holders of power or money eternally navigate and manipulate to their gain, at the loss of the others.
As a result of his counter-cultural, anti-establishment ways, Jesus was persecuted and condemned to a humiliating death on a “tree,” in systems perpetrated by powers both religious and Roman. (See Deuteronomy 21: 22-23.)
The many scandalous “systems” of the world dehumanize all of human life and render life that runs contrary to God’s will.
The political system dehumanizes and desensitizes us all.
The military system dehumanizes and desensitizes us.
The educational systems (all too often) dehumanize and desensitize. (Think about how even “teaching to the test” takes out the humanizing value and benefits of learning.)
The justice system (all too often) dehumanizes and desensitizes us.
The financial system (especially the Big Business, Big Banks, Big Everything systems that value profits over human lives and animals, too) . . . ditto.
The media/entertainment/cultural systems definitely dehumanize and desensitize us . . . (Build em up! tear em down!).
And of course, the many rigid, and all-too-often dogmatic religious system(s) . . . aren’t as pure as the driven snow by any means.
The church and the many religions can systematically dehumanize and desensitize us to the plight of the poor and marginalized and all powerless people among us, and never mind that this runs contrary to God’s will for “the life more abundant,” for mercy, for peace on earth and good will to all, that our “joy may be complete.” (See John 17: 11-19 here)
So the thoughts for the day, Christians, might be:
Do I live contrary to today’s life-diminishing or life-destroying systems, or do I adapt my faith to the “system” (i.e. “Kingdom”) that Jesus ushered in?”
How can I contribute to the “good system” of the Kingdom of Heaven of which Jesus gave us a foretaste on Earth in ways that will constructively displace and replace systems that tear down rather than lift up lives?”
How complete is my joy in the life-giving, life-nurturing love and grace of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior?
Mind you, I love me some Beatles and Beatles music, including the song “All You Need is Love.”