In today’s gospel Jesus is praying. He’s not talking to the disciples and he’s not talking to us. He’s not teaching and he’s not giving instructions. He’s praying, and we’re listening in. And what a prayer it is.
We all face giants, Philistines, in our lives. Sometimes it’s personal and unique to our particular situation. Goliath might be an illness, loneliness, the loss of a loved one. Maybe a rift in a relationship is standing tall. Or maybe it feels as if your life is moving out of control and you’re powerless to do anything. Other times Goliath might be more systemic. It’s mass shootings in our country, violence throughout the world, war in the middle east, racism, immigration. Goliath shows up in lots of ways.
Every time we say the Nicene Creed we profess the world’s greatest scandal. God chose to become human. God chose to reveal himself through flesh and blood. God chose to enter this world in the usual way, to be born of a human mother the same as you and I were. God chose to live and die as one of us. God chose death as the way to new life. God chose to seat humanity at his right hand. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of this scandal.
The world is full of scandals: moral failings, political debacles, sexual infidelities, economic disasters. The list could go on and on. Scandals come in all sorts, shapes, and sizes. They are the subject of headline news, the content of editorials and opinions, and the topics of gossip, blogs, posts, and tweets. Human nature, human flesh, and human blood are at the heart of every scandal. It is the scandal of being human. The question is, from whose perspective do we view the scandal of being human? Ours or God’s? The perspective we choose, the one we most trust, will orient our relationship with God and determine the way we live and treat one another.
He did not shun; he chose. He did not shun the virgin’s womb; he chose a mother. He did not shun the human body; he chose flesh and blood. He did not shun the angel’s name; he chose a destiny. He did not shun the circumciser’s knife; he chose purity. He did not shun God’s law; he chose obedience. He did not shun John’s baptism; … Continue reading The Life of Jesus: God’s Extreme Consideration for Humanity
If, as I suggested in the previous post, we all have and venerate icons then maybe there is a corollary to be considered. How are we also iconoclasts? What images have we and do we continue to destroy? Iconoclasm is often justified as an attempt to protect or defend God. The incarnation, however, lies at the heart of the theology of icons. Iconoclasm is, therefore, … Continue reading Iconoclasm
“Yeh hum naheen” means “this is not us.” The song is a statement that the violence of terrorism is not Islam. Terrorism and violence are not simply Islamic issues. They are issues of humanity. So maybe we should see the video and hear the words as a reminder that any violence is not us, regardless of our ethnicity, race or religion. To act with violence … Continue reading Yeh hum naheen – this is not us