8/17/2013

Bowling for really big bucks....

Over on Acts Two Six, Chris Huff has written a really fine essay, "Out of the Gutter: But Why the Church Can't Just Go "Down the Middle" Either." Go read, mark and inwardly digest.

He says, "This little analogy of a man trying to go bowling without understanding the point of the game is an attempt by me to illustrate the perennial mistake each generation of men and women in the church makes when they forget that God wants us chiefly to love (a la John 17 and St. Augustine). Instead, we split and divide in a default attempt to avoid the idea of uncleanness and impurity. We do this, not in a good way, like amoebas and other single-celled animals, but in a way that diminishes us and our witness each time we do it. We are not left as two complete wholes when we divide; we remain broken halves of a beautiful wholeness that God desires for us. It is what the religious authorities did in the very presence of "Love" Himself. By our avoidance, we avoid the chance to love boldly. 
And mere compromise is not the way to remain one. In this analogy, a ball straight down the middle will not give you a strike. There needs to be a dynamic, energetic "spin" on the ball, and a throw to the right or the left of the lane until the "spin" carries the ball energetically through the middle at the first pin where there is great effect...and almost always a strike. This "spin", I believe, is love. This love enables us to cover more of the "lane", so to speak, which is the whole of our existence, with no one left out."

Read the whole thing.  Really.  And then read the Gospel for this Sunday.

Luke 12:49-56

Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, `It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

Thanks, Chris.

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