Sunday, May 27, 2018

Greatest Thing Ever: Holy Trinity Sunday

“DID ANYTHING SO GREAT EVER HAPPEN BEFORE??!!!!! WAS IT EVER HEARD OF??!!!!”

That sounds like something you’d hear from an excited little kid, doesn’t it? I’d easily believe that was a direct quote from one of my nieces.

But… it’s actually quite the opposite. These are the words of a dying old man. Moses speaks them in the Book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is his last testament and teaching before he dies on very threshold of the Promised Land, toward which he’s led Israel these forty years, and into which he now knows he will never set foot. And Moses says: just think how amazing God’s self-disclosure is. Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of?

It’s a rhetorical question. The answer, obviously, is: it’s bonkers. It’s unheard of. It’s amazing and unprecedented.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Fail Better Tomorrow: 6th Sunday Easter

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

On one hand, that sounds so simple, so reassuringly simple. It’s simple enough to have the ring of truth. Here’s a religion that boils down to one great simple thing, and it’s a thing that our hearts immediately recognize as what they want… what they really want, what they’ve always wanted and always will. Just to love and be loved. Whatever lists of rules and commandments may follow, whatever philosophical principles and rules of life, all of it boils down to this very simple and very beautiful core. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

On the other hand, the more you think about that beautiful, reassuringly simple commandment, the more you realize it is by far the most strict and rigorous and unachievable goal that humanity has ever tried and failed to live out. No list of rules and commandments could ever be as demanding as this. What if Jesus had said He demanded that all of His disciples climb Mt. Everest? Well, maybe I’m deluded but I think if I dedicated my life to it I’d still have at least a shot of making that happen. At least a remote chance of success. Or if He’d said every disciple must read every book in some big library. I’d feel like, well, let’s get started, maybe I can. But to really think about how He loved… and be told to love the same…