New Blood in the Old Body

Civil Eats has an ongoing series about young farmers and why they farm. The most recent post called Why We Farm, A Young Farmer’s Manifesto ends with these words:

We are the new blood in the old body.

This obviously reminded me of an enigmatic statement someone made about wineskins. The sentiments expressed about how change comes to entrenched institutions reminds me of the incarnation. We enter into the world in all of its messiness, because we are witness to another order, another way of organizing our lives together. This other order has already come, but it’s not yet arrived.

I’ve always wrestled with how change comes. Is it gradually by working within the system? Or do we advocate for revolution, overthrow of the present order? As usual the answer seems to lie somewhere in between. The Third Way recognizes that change inevitably involves some combination of these two. We cannot ignore the present order of things as if it were really possible to simply do away with it and start over. This should not lead us to the conclusion that the way things are is simply the way they will always be. The essence of the Jesus movement is the idea that there is a telos, purpose, towards which history and life is directed, the order of God. The vision of this alternate economy, this new way of living, being and ordering life together in the world is what pushes us forward. The vision of this other way is not simply a progression of the way the world orders things, but in many ways counter to the current state of affairs. The tension between these two is “the new blood in the old body.” This sounds like resurrection. This is the mission of God in the world… and even those who are not followers of Jesus can be part of it.

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