"Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'" Clearly, threats of exile and torment don't work either. We live in a world where the rich men are even wealthier, Lazarus and his kin are far more numerous, and the majority of us accept it all with a shrug because none of us really believe that there is some eternal great chasm in our future. Our Parent is too loving and merciful for that. They'll make it a win-win for everyone in the end. Good news, right? But what if that means sharing a banquet table with Lazarus and his kin for all eternity? And what if they start asking awkward questions, about whether we were sickened by their condition, or what we did with the scraps from our tables? Even worse, what if they already know every detail of every good we received in our lifetimes, including how we used or didn't use those blessings? What if they ask us why we refused to love them like the brothers and sisters that they are? And what if they respond to all of this by showering us with more love and mercy than we ever gave them? Perhaps exile, torments, and chasms are the easier fates after all.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
"You cannot serve both God and mammon." And there it is, the truth we do not want to hear. We so desperately want to believe that we can have our toys and our games, and still be righteous people. We insist upon it. But life just does not work that way. Look around you! Is there any doubt that we possess the resources to care for every single one of our siblings? So why do some drown in luxury, while others waste away from hunger, disease, or violence? Perhaps because most of us are happily comfortable, so why should we rock the boat? The cold, hard truth is that we have chosen to serve ourselves, not our family. And no amount of largesse tossed into our favorite charity bucket can ever alter that reality. "Never will I forget a thing they have done!" Time to face the music.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
God loves losers. They choose a tribe of rebellious malcontents to be his people, select the foremost sinner to be her apostle, and pine obscenely for a handful of lost souls despite a plethora of devoted followers. So why are we so fixated on being winners? Who are we trying to impress? When will we get it through our thick skulls that power, wealth, and fame mean nothing? All our Parent cares about is that we exist. We miserable losers exist. That is enough. Enough for an eternity of love.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
"Who can conceive what the LORD intends?" Certainly not those who insist on approaching God with human ears and minds. Jesus tells us to reject family, friends, possessions, and even our own lives. But such statements do not compute with our logic in regards to the Prince of Peace and the King of Love. So we search and search for hidden meanings, ignoring the possibility that our Brother meant what he said and said what he meant. He is inviting us to join him on a most excellent adventure to realms unimaginable. How can we embark on such a journey while clinging to mere dust? Of course we should hate all that holds us back from the cross! And of course that same cross demands from us the most sublime love of neighbor and self! Do not expect Truth to look consistent to your eyes. Challenge yourself to view all that has been, is, and ever will be through your Parent's instead.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
How powerful is our desire for honor and prestige that Jesus must co-opt that obsession in order to teach us about humility? But more importantly, what have we ever done to deserve such honor or prestige? Is there a single human accomplishment that cannot be traced back to the good fortune of acquiring some divine gift? Be it physical creation or immaterial inspiration, everything we and our ancestors have ever possessed or known came from acts of grace. Even in caring for "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind", we are nothing more than middlemen. God created this home for all of us. Should we praised for sharing that gift with our brothers and sisters, or shamed for having to be talked into doing so? We really don't have a clue, about ourselves or the kingdom, do we?