LENT is the season when words and teachings of Christ are presented in a thousand pulpits across the nation — self-righteously, mournfully, nasally, coldly, feebly, flamboyantly, blandly, and violently.
Ministers give the gospel, its full beauty and power, and thousands of people derived guidance and comfort, listening to them, validating a deep need for spiritual existence. But can anyone imagine what it would be like to interact directly with the Lord, who knew your everyday thought, your every word, before you spoke?
Asking him questions like, “Lord, given the fact that you have bestowed life that dies, why did you give us death? Of the virgin birth and the betrayal of your friend, Judas Iscariot…and about Good Friday, why on the day on which men denied God should be called Good? Why did you give Adam and Eve free will, but banished them for their sin of disobedience they were predestined to do.” If Christ was who was both “man and “God” had to experience mans refusal of the spirit, why is man unperturbed by what He did: and Lord Jesus as man. He knew God.
I struggle to understand that, we do not really know what we mean by “God” or “man” and the drain of its contradiction.
But, If I were asked, the rationale of my faith…I’d say: First, I believe in a grand universal order and meaning, and in a power that is both greater than us and within us.
I believe in a God I could worship formally wherever I am…in a God that answers prayers that guides and chides (oh yes!) that…when you really come down to it…a benevolent and all seeing Being, but recognizably in man’s image.
And more than that, I believe in the God invoked by public character as an ally in righteousness. I believe in great many things that equally formal worshipper of God, profess to believe…although these are not abstractions for me…but the highest of purpose with which we all exist that which is, to believe with passion in justice, in kindness, decency, humility and in courage and honor.
Isn’t that the magnificence of the universal and the wonders of man and life itself like some cosmic pattern?
I see it revealed equally in a rain drop, in a gentle caressing breeze, in the shape of a leaf, the palpitating body of a tiny bird, of the swell of a cumulus cloud, or even in my arthritic hobble.
What about the chorales of Johanness Sebastian Bach, what words delivered from the pulpit give me that I can not find in a Shakespeare sonnet…or the lines of the great philosophers Plato, Rene Descartes and the metaphysical poet John Donne. What church rituals gave that a great ballet or opera can not?
In all these creative acts that lift, mystify and enlarge a man from timeless artists…those who celebrate beauty, those who unlock mysteries, serve scalpel truth, never make war because they supplement compassion and make pettiness go away, like viewing Vincent Van Gogh or the masters.
My faith is my redemption, my life the magical element that sustains and molds and make me whole, the element that sustains, as I surrender myself to it. It lifts, pummels, threatens and caresses…like a lugubrious lullaby and makes me whole…in a mystery that has the stillness of truth — even if the truth is yet to come.