JP21 Via Vida The Jesus Path Life Operating System for the 21st Century
Session 2: Why Reboot?
Session 2 Outline
Practice Centering Prayer.
View Video for Session 2
Discuss Video, share reactions
Primer questions: What evidence do you find for the assertion that “the world is pretty screwed up?”
What would you change in our world if you could?
How would you go about making that change?
Scripture Study: Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22.
What image or phrases caught your attention?
What was most puzzling?
What would you like to learn more about?
What really spoke to your heart?
Discuss the difference between “starting over” and “changing directions.”
What directions or inclinations in our world need changing?
What directions or inclinations in your own life need changing? How are the two related and connected?
Read and discuss: “Why Reboot?”
Close in prayer.
The World Is Pretty Screwed Up
Go to your favorite news source – online, Facebook, combined newsfeed, newspaper, magazine, podcast, whatever – and what is your gut reaction? If you are like the majority of people in our country and around the world, it’s probably safe to say that human society is in sad shape, and perhaps coming to a dangerously critical crossroads.
If you are under 40 years of age, there is a good chance you are really pissed off that big money interests seem to be interested only in their quarterly reports and stock options rather than bequeathing a livable planet to future generations. You may be wondering if there are going to be any jobs that increase livability rather than scorch and strip the earth. You may be totally disgusted with what passes for religion in so much of our society. If you are Black, you are probably sick and tired of being arrested, questioned, pulled over, and shot at for just trying to exist while Black. Has some righteous white person phoned the police on you for breathing in their privileged airspace? You may even be wondering if all those post-Apocalyptic dystopian movies and books just might not become a reality in your lifetime?
Maybe you, like me, are wondering if there might be some way to get off this runaway train of corporate greed, religious hypocrisy, white supremacy, environmental destruction, gender suppression, racial profiling, sexual harassment and abuse. Maybe you, like me, have come to think that our world, our society, our humankind has become infected with all sorts of viruses and malware that have seized control of our social operating systems. Maybe you, like me, would like to ctrl-alt-del the whole thing, and start over. Or better yet, download a better operating system entirely.
The world needs a new Life Operating System.
Human beings - you, me, every person on the face of the earth - need a new Life Operating System if we want to have a future worth living in. In order to create a world in which we all can live, we need to change our outlook, our belief systems, our economic systems, and our cultural systems.
It's time to Reboot!
How do we avoid being screwed up by our screwed-up world?
The idea behind “Reboot!” is very simple: we all have what you can call a Life Operating System that guides and directs our lives every minute of every day. Of course, the analogy with computers is obvious. But the computer analogy is very revealing about our world and about our personal lives. Take the term "Reboot" itself. The term is derived from the actual phrase, “bootstrapping” the computer, which is a technique for loading the first program instructions that enable the computer to continue to load the rest of the programs and system check-ups that are necessary for running the computer. The computer gets itself going by "pulling itself up by the bootstraps." To reboot is to start that process over again because there is a problem or error going on in the computer.
So, think again about what's going on in our world. It’s probably safe to say that human society is coming to a dangerously critical crossroads. Political vitriol as at an all-time high, with calculated partisan-designed impasses threatening the security, safety and welfare of millions of Americans. Environmental protections and safeguards are being rolled back, climate change agreements are being negated, climate change is being denied even as record temperatures result in more powerful hurricanes, annualized wildfires throughout the West, flooding from increasingly torrential rainfall in the Midwest and Southeast, and rising coastlines all around the world. White supremacists openly sit in the seats of power and influence the highest offices in the land. Persons of color face excessively higher incarceration rates, often for very minor offenses, and face the daily fear of being killed when confronted by police for any reason. Non-Christian religious practitioners face the fear of being killed in their places of worship, as do Christians of color. Persons of color seeking refuge in the United States face internment in fetid cells, with families being torn apart and children facing abuse.
The Gospels all depict Jesus beginning his ministry saying “Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!” If he had come today, he might say, “Reboot! You are about to commit a fatal error that will cause your life system to crash!” We start on the Jesus Path when we recognize that the path we are currently on is not working, or is perhaps even dangerous or perilous to our health and the health of the world. In computer talk: our life is giving us “error messages” and it is time to disconnect from a dysfunctional system, purge our operating system of the old, and download a new Operating System. Time to “reboot.”
Rebooting begins by telling the truth about ourselves or the world around us to ourselves and others: The Life-System in whose grip we find ourselves is destroying us, the people around us, and even the planet on which we live. We need a new Life Operating System. Jesus says, “I have just what you need. Come, follow me. I’ll show it to you.”