Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Church of Pastor Moron

This pastor is a complete fool, pandering to the culture in the most shallow way possible.  So are the Shiny News Persons interviewing him.  I am disgusted.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

John 17 Reflections

Recently, this fellow asked me my thoughts about this passage from the book of John.  And so, this is what I replied, in an email today:

I have nothing smart to say or ask.  I am dumbfounded.  This prayer has always confounded me. 

I feel inadequate to receive it, just reading it.  Its as if I am listening to Stephen Hawking describe the nature of Dark Matter, or Einstein on theories of time.  Its like, for a moment, we are given a glimpse, in this out-loud prayer, of the essence of the forming of the cosmos - in terms of the relationship between Jesus and his Father.  It is too great to take in.

In short, I only understand vaguely what is going on.  The content and context here is too boundless.  These are the final farewell moments before Christ must face the Ultimate Question of death we all will face someday.  How does he spend these moments?  Praying out loud about his relationship with his Father, what he wants of his disciples, and words for us all to follow.  This prayer is very intimate stuff.  May we all be driven to a place like this.  More often.

Something very mysterious is happening in this prayer.  Jesus is not praying for himself to hear the words come out of his mouth, but for others to hear who are there.  What might the moments of this prayer felt like for those watching?  I can only imagine that it might be the most profound mixture of emotions we humans can feel in all of life.  The feeling of joy and tears at the birth of a child; those rare moments of epiphany in the voices of a choir performing sacred works, the brilliance of an unexpected sunset, the pain of a broken friendship, and the foreshadowing dread of facing the impending death of someone we love so dearly.  All these things, all together, at one time, rolled together as we sit closely and watch Jesus pray. 

We try to open our mouths to respond, but nothing comes out.  This must be a moment for silence - in the way that nature affects us most profoundly when we stand in the alpine forest and absorb the calm.  There is deep meaning in our quiet reflection of the words of Christ.

Maybe part of understanding is to read this prayer over enough that it has a chance to sink into our souls, and affect the way we move forth into the word, and in turn, love others for Christ.  Can we take the time?  Can we really let it sink in?  Can we, will we?

I still feel inadequate.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Of History, Colleges, and Hope for the Future

Somewhere, high over the Nebraska corn fields, the ride home got rough.

And when it did, a teenage girl hand next to me tightly wrapped itself around my wrist. “I just hate turbulence, I just hate it”, said Younger Daughter, as we encountered bumps in the air.

Soon, that hand will loosen its grip, loose its fear of turbulence, and generally not be there as much any more. Life is like that. I know those emotional bumps will be more painful for me than these clear air ones, at 38,000 feet and Mach 0.75

This past week was spent in Boston, looking at colleges with high school sophomore daughter. What a great city Boston is....the deep history of the Freedom Trail, North End, Boston Common. And then the colleges, Tufts, Boston University, Northeastern, and Boston College. Even a trip to Harvard Yard. Oh my. I want to be 18 again! Wait, I take that back. No I don't.

I left the East Coast feeling greatly encouraged and enthusiastic about the state of higher education, certainly at least in Massachusetts. Enthusiasm, joy for learning, and minds ready to challenge the future, all very encouraging to this middle-aged fellow.

And so, that grip on my arm is gradually less.

If anything happens as a result of this college trip, and the someday soon ensuing college education, it will be that this same hand, the one that gripped my arm at 38,000 feet, will, after graduation, reach out in service, in creativity, in real friendship, and in compassion to a world that needs a hand to hold.

That is my hope.
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