27 diciembre 2008

Blessed be the Uncynical God!

Thought one: last carol allusions (of 2008 at least. i think. probably.)

Christmas is God’s yearly anti-cynicism inoculation for our chronically- sardonic world. Go ahead: defer it. Be miserable sick the rest of the year. Sneer at the gloomy clouds of night. Make dark jokes about how death’s dark shadows aren’t afraid of you. Shrug yourself to death in the midst of envy, strife, and quarrels. Make choices; you have no future. Be brave; you have no hope. Be wry; you have no joy. Be resigned; you have no peace. “Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."

You can… even in March, August, October… any cynical day of your wretched year. (Assuming you have breath left, I mean.) Say something pathetic. Say something noble. Quote if you must:

“Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord…
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner…
I do believe; help Thou my unbelief!”

And see how fast, how happily, how lovingly Emmanuel shall come to thee, miserable rebel, ornery sinner, and generally faithless one!

Thought two: a brother says it much better than I can: B. Davenport- prologue to The Bravehearted Gospel by E. Ludy. Remind me to rave later.

“What was Jesus like? After all, if He is the historic example of every-thing that we are to be at this very moment in time, then what was He

Most of us have heard that God is love, that God became flesh,
and that Jesus was His name…

Jesus was perfect, and He lived the only perfect life that’s ever been lived. [But what does that mean?] It means that in all things, and at all times, Jesus was perfectly loving, perfectly unselfish, and perfectly humble. He was perfectly righteous, and perfectly holy. … blameless.

Not once in His life was He ever arrogant, boastful, or proud. The number of times that Jesus spoke an unkind word or mindlessly lashed out with His tongue came to a grand total of zero. He had no blind
His doctrine was pure. He never erred in His teaching by placing an over- or underemphasis on any doctrine.
He never spoke out of prejudice, mere opinion, or dogma.

He transcended His culture.

He spoke only what His Father game Him to speak, and His words were the words of God. He came to serve others, not to be served Himself. He made no attempt to manipulate the masses for His own gain, but lived humbly and without pretension.

He was approachable. Women, children, tax collectors, prostitutes, and even lepers came to Jesus and were never turned away. He taught that we should love one another, that we should treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated, and that we should do good even to those who use and mistreat us.”

Because He did. He preached what He had lived.

Thought three:

“Love is patient; love is kind…” Jesus was.. Jesus was… [Jesus is... Jesus is...]

“Love always trusts.” We have no first person narrative regarding Christ. Quotes, sermons; no writings. He could have. It would have helped, maybe, to have Someone omniscient write His view of the necessary Scriptures for 2000+ years of faith.

Could have included a special message to the Arians, Gnostics, and subsequent heretics, and systematically, unequivocally defined and explained all those sticky issues like a human/divine nature, the Trinity, acceptable analogies thereof, salvation and all it entails, sanctification, hierarchial outline of Church, identity of Mary, exhaustive analysis of baptism, tongues, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the 2nd coming (time, identity of anti-Christ, meaning of Old Testament symbolism), the Sacraments, liturgy, et cetera.

Oh, but wait: Someone omniscient did write His view of the necessary Scriptures for 2000+ years of faith… just not in first person. (and without my advice!) He didn’t wrack Himself with worry that the subsequent generations get the EXACT view of life and liberty and pursuit of the Kingdom that only His syntax could provide.

Because, you see, love always trusts.

And as His Father trusted a pious Jewish virgin to love, care for, and sacrifice herself for the life of the Word, so did Christ trust His followers to do the same for the life of the Word, the Faith, the Body. Nothing so ignorable as a quiet child, except maybe the still, small voice of God in the midst of cacophony. Yet God chose the Child, and Christ the still, small voice of God and clay pots...

Whoa. He trusts people, not books. A Church in so many illiterate ages. Disciples, martyrs, the faithful among the masses. Sheep among wolves. Human beings in so many over stimulated, over-machinated, over-informed circles.

He trusted a few to transcribe the essentials. He trusted a few more to provide a tradition of interpretation. He trusts us all to be living epistles, known and read by all men.

He trusted a few to oppose the religious status quo, most to submit to it. He trusted a few to blaze new trails of faith, most to continue in trails long blazed. He trusted a few to lead, most to follow.

God trusts us. God trusts us. God trusts us?! Even though He knows us…? Maybe, mejor dicho, God trusts His Spirit, so powerful, so trustworthy, so triumphant, Death and Hades cannot foil Him. Broken, repentant humanity… that’s not His worry; that’s His masterpiece.

thought four: hope that does not disappoint...

Paul: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

And then goes on to say, consequently,
“and this I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.”
Funny, how that “confidence,” that trust, is for us but in God… and how trust like that leads to several verses of fervent, effectual, spot on prayer. [think: The Lord’s Prayer… all about trust.]

Maybe that’s why Christ prayed so much on earth and intercedes so much now- and the Spirit groans- because They TRUST so much… after investing so much, They must trust so much… in the only One worthy.

Don’t leave the Spirit to trust, to invest, to pray, to intercede, to groan alone. Care. Trust. Hope. Invest. Sell all you have and give alms. Pray. Bet all on Christ’s Body, risen gloriously 2000 years back, rising victorious today, and to rise in a big way someday soon, not too far away…