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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Second Thoughts

This evening I planned to qualify my comments on yesterday’s blog.  I thought maybe I had gone too far.  The crucifixion of our Lord was real.  In my remarks regarding the lilies of the field was I attempting to avoid realty?—a great sin in my book.  Am I going out of my way to resist realty—as a man trying to be a woman or a woman trying to be a man?  At first I thought some retraction might be in order.  But on second thought, I have changed my mind.  While reality must not be avoided, neither should death be romanticized nor martyrdom used as a lever for conformance or compliance.  It is relatively easy to create guilt by saying that someone died for you.  It’s a greater challenge when it’s said that someone lived for you.  The first suggest sacrifice while the second suggests that someone by choice was intentionally generous.  Generosity, we all know, makes the giver feel good.  It often helps overcome sadness.  Yet, at the core of living for another is immense discipline and self-sacrifice.  It just doesn’t show for it is done graciously and with a happy heart.  This intense discipline of love and generosity was the foundation of Jesus’ ministry—he brought the Word of Life.  I think of a modern martyr, Martin Luther King, Jr.  What absurdity it would be to celebrate his death rather than his life.  No, in my book I won’t recant my remarks yesterday.  “Religion” tends to greatly oversell Jesus’ death in my thinking for dubious, sometimes exploitive ends.  We would all be better off celebrating his life, and yes, resurrection.

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