Sunday, November 16, 2014


Sunday Reflection: When Jesus was gone

Lately, I have been talking to some of my friends who, for various reasons, have lost their faith.  It's something I understand, and have come close to myself.  They didn't want to end up without that certainty, but people and events pushed them to a place where belief in a loving God no longer made sense.

Yesterday, I was wondering about Jesus's followers after he was gone.  Not just the first time, but the second time, too-- after the resurrection.  It must have been very strange to have devoted three years to an intense cause that was focused so closely on one man, and then have him be gone.  

What they did, it seems, was move to action.  They went all over, to the ends of the known Earth, they took risks, they confronted the impossible.  This is different, though, than what my friends struggle with.  For Jesus' followers, it was the body that was gone, but the idea of the man remained.  For those who lose faith, it is the idea that is gone.  It might be that losing the idea of what can be is worse by far. 

Imagine the plight of most lives before Jesus began His public ministry. Are many not living in a similar time and place?

Taxes extracted, while outside the gilded gates deterioration accelerates; toil daily that keeps one’s back bent, head down, joints aching while praying not to train the person our committed efforts will soon be outsourced to; ‘larders for the ‘morrow’ that began to be depleted decades ago; boot straps torn and separated from ‘pulling up’ one time too many; frightening nightmares of possibly returning so suddenly to times when our loved ones were without health care – all the while religious leaders often flood social media with laments of being attacked. Are there desires to return to days of the Old Covenant in our future?

Must we focus on a pall of sin and wickedness we are told permeates more and more of our daily lives; litany after litany from pulpits, media or messaging assuring our brokenness, unworthiness, deceitfulness, helplessness and more? Where should we place our hope?

If not for the hospitable sanctity of parishes or congregations, has not organized religion taken on many of the trappings of our broken political systems – financially supported self indulgent righteousness?

How many young minds will embrace the dire preaching of ‘The Fall’ and original sin when coupled with teachings we are created in God’s image? Will my dear friend ever accept her two still-born daughters remain in ’Limbo’ because they came into the world as blackened, lifeless souls? Why the continual debate from St Augustine’s day till now to nuance original sin when one of the beauties of humanity is its sinful nature – and free will. Were we not created as an intended ‘work in progress’?

Too much of the Resurrection is focused on the forgiveness of sins – a gift offered that must be accepted with a contrite heart. Is not the Resurrection more importantly new life in a New Covenant – an unconditional gift given, filling our vessel of existence, our soul, with unconditional love and presence of the Holy Spirit?

There is reason the miracle of the ‘Loaves and Fishes’ preceded the Eucharist – Jesus knew He must feed the body before He fed the soul. A lesson many could take to heart. .
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?