Friday, March 17, 2006

The Wilderness

The Wilderness
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." To those who watched, they were words of comfort, words that said "I’m here my children, I’ll make you safe. The exile and exodus will really be over."
But to the Man the celestial bird that rested on him was like a hot coal upon his skin; he coal that anointed the lips of the prophet was upon him fully. It led him like that pillar. The blasting wind/breath/spirit descended, draining into his ears, swirling into his mind, blasting down upon him. It led, no it chased/pushed/tugged/took, the Man to the wilderness.
Out there all the questions implied with the spirit’s amplified affirmation of every experience he had previous to that moment, that Baptizing like the kings of old, that anointing and calling, rumbled up inside him. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
He hid his face in brambles, remembering Absalom caught upon a tree. He clenched his teeth upon a branch, trying not to think of food. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," rangs clearly in his head.
How do you prepare to live into such words? For forty days he sat there, birds and other animals his only company. His stomach groaned. The words "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," came more and more urgently to him.
Then came the form. A handsome form, to be sure. Beckoning to him, offering him some Matza. It looked good, so good the words of the Spirit, which glistened and blazed upon his body lost some of their luster. Only briefly though, for what is the mouth of man compared to what is issued from the mouth of God? "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
The world around the Man seemed to change; he was above the city, which permeated his dreams and his nightmares. The urge was there, to jump, to show them all self evident truth crashing inside him crying to be let out. But was it not God’s to reveal or withhold that, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
High still they climbed, these two, passed Olympus, passed Sinai, passed that holy mount where he would be transfigured, until they had arrived, high above it all. It could all be his. An act of worship up here. A simple act of worship that was the only price. A high price. Too high a price, a son ultimately serves his father. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
The birds and other animals came, found him there. Like angels they were, singing, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One Christian's thoughts on the War on Terror (700th post)

They are strict monotheists who hold their collective noses at what they perceive as the polytheism of our faith. They use our most advanced communications and travel technology against us. They are fundamentalists who believe theirs is the only true path, and they are disgusted and repulsed by the pluralism and tolerance of our culture.
While they on some level see us as their forbears they also see us as people who have went the wrong way, and they see themselves as the proper and fulfilled version of our faith.
Their radical leaders condemn our morality and way of life. Theirs is the fastest growing religion in the world.
Now… am I talking about early Christianity or radial Islam? Hum? MLK’s speech about Vietnam inspired me to look at the world from our "enemy’s" perspective. Perhaps the administration should ask the question of what could the Roman Empire or Judaism of the time could have done to stop or contain Christianity.
PS quick caveat. I am in no way saying Paul is the same as Osama, or that the goals of Radical Islam are the same as that of the Early Church.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Lent Day 8

Life is messy, sick mothers, stink filled land, Pharoah has a heard heart, and the Messiah has no place to lay his head.
God will shame Pharoah, and many shall be healed.
As always we live in an interesting place, intersected both by hope and anguish, and we can do little more than live faithfully in the midst of it all.