Christians are suffering a crisis of the First Commandment: that’s the one that goes, “You shall have no other gods but me.”
Here’s the two-fold gist of this Ash Wednesday/Gearing-Up-For-Lent blog:
It seems to me reasonable to assume that if a person is, say, a Minnesota Twins fan, she doesn’t pull on Milwaukee Brewers gear for the Big Game.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born 112 years ago today on February 4, 1906.
The other day, a person whom I do not know commented on a Facebook post I made objecting to Donald Trump’s announcement that “We’re going to start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
For what may or may not be the umpteenth time, E and I were belting out Hamilton on our way to her confirmation class this morning.
We don’t have many Dust Bunnies at our home.
So, Donald Trump will be inaugurated on Friday as our next president.
In the late ’60s and ’70s, my father was a Professor of New Testament in the Religion Department at Concordia College.
What is, therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: “Faith, hope, and love”? That sounds beautiful. But I would say–courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature…we lack a holy rage–the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity. The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth…a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world. To rage against the ravaging of God’s earth, and the destruction of God’s world. To rage when little children must die of hunger, when the tables of the rich are sagging with food. To rage at the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries. To rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction peace. To rage against complacency. To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the Kingdom of God. And remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish…but never the chameleon.
Call committees, when sketching out a profile for their next pastor, are awfully drawn to words like these: kind, available, comforting, pastoral, articulate, flexible, intelligent, dynamic, wise, knowledgable, organized, trust-worthy, confident.
This morning, I found myself trolling some earlier blogs I wrote about Advent and Christmas, trying to remember what thoughts I have had about them in the past (I have lots of thoughts, but can hold on to only one or two at a time).
Tuesday, post Holy Week.
So tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, many–not all, but many–people in the Christian Church mark the beginning of Lent.
I was listening, the other day, to a man on the radio who said that he advocated “Value Based Voting.”
Today, at 10:00 p.m., South Dakota will execute a man, and another man within the next couple of weeks.
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