“We the unwilling, led by the unknown, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.” – Mother Theresa
One day as a kid, my mom came home proudly toting a newly purchased board game. Already an avid competitor in the auspicious realms of “Chutes and Ladders,” “Trouble” and “Candyland” respectively, my will to win surged at the mere sight of the Toys R’ Us bag.
“Be suspicious of anything quick, cheap, or temporary.” — Richard Foster
Last fall, some friends and I attended a concert after work. One of those friends introduced me to his colleague, a Capitol Hill staffer new to the District.
“Why did you come to D.C.?” I asked her.
“God,” she said.
“God? God brought you to DC?”
“Yes. He said ‘no’ to everything else and led me here.”
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” - Seneca
Search the scriptures, and see if you can find it anywhere. You know, the “C” word. Don’t know what I’m talking about? “Christian.” People use the word, seldom considering its many meanings. As we talk with others, we find a multitude of definitions.
College entrance essays ask which historical figures you would like to meet. Magazine reporters ask which three people you'd like to have for dinner. An myspace.com has a listing for each profile, "Who I'd like to meet." It should be "Whom".
We envision our discussions with these people, brooding over the grand questions we'd ask. Why did the Beatles break up? Why did Barry Sanders have to retire so soon? What was T.S. Eliot trying to convey with "The Wasteland"?
The wife of a rural pastor would seem to have little reason for smiling. She and her husband lost their oldest son when he was nine. They are poor and have no visible hope of ever moving out of poverty. The needs of their church and community demand their time, their energy, their resources.
Yet when she opened the door to her home, ushering in visitors, she laughed warmly, smiled authentically. She felt glad to receive guests. She quickly prepared a meal and set it before them, and asked nothing in return. When told "thank you," she smiled again, revealing a broken front tooth, another mark of a hard life.
Teacher. Rabbi. Messiah. King. Savior. Redeemer. Friend. Christ. Servant. Son. Prophet. Man. God. Rebel. Revolutionary. Priest. Intercessor.
The roles of Jesus. All true.
But what if I don't see them all? What if I believe in him, but only one part of him? Or in only three parts of him? What if I love Jesus the man? Will he accept that love? What if I follow Jesus the rabbi? Does that following meet his command to "Learn of me"? What if I believe in the teacher? Is that faith sufficient?