Christians are suffering a crisis of the First Commandment: that’s the one that goes, “You shall have no other gods but me.”
I have a dear friend, up here in Two Harbors.
Here’s the two-fold gist of this Ash Wednesday/Gearing-Up-For-Lent blog:
I was already late and well on my way to my late husband’s memorial service before I realized that the urn with his ashes still sat on the kitchen table.
This past Sunday, November 19th, I had the pleasure of preaching at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, MN.
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.
My two children, my father, and I, we really lived it up for our New Year’s Eve last night, I tell you what.
The Cedar Coffee Company is reason enough to move to Two Harbors.
“Remembering is a noble and necessary act. The call of memory, the call to memory, reaches us from the very dawn of history. No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible. It is incumbent upon us to remember the good we have received, and the evil we have suffered.” Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture, Hope, Despair and Memory
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.
“And Lincoln says to the woman, ‘Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?’”
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, to be sure, in the news here and abroad.
So tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, many–not all, but many–people in the Christian Church mark the beginning of Lent.
Appropriately, I think, I tend to keep personal updates off of my OMG Facebook page.
Google yields only one pop song, and an iffy one at that, with the word “finitude” in its lyrics.
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