Friday, February 18, 2011

"If there's Lord above... give me something in to believe in"

It is funny how much blogging becomes part of my life. Not having posted for two days seems like a long time. I think the Friday traditio is a good way to get back in the saddle. Today I do so with Poison's Give Me Something To Believe In. The heavy metal/glam/hair bands of the '80s were nothing if not melodramatic, but many times they struck heart chords. For my money the best songwriter in the group is Brett Michaels.

So-called existential angst is part and parcel of the human condition. As Christians, we attribute this to our fallenness, which is the result of original sin. I recapitulate the original sin each and every time I sin; those times I usurp God and seek to be self-determining, deciding for myself what is right and what is wrong with no reference to God or other people. This usually takes the form of me putting myself first, looking out for number one, as it were. Nothing could be more antithetical to following Christ, who calls me to self-emptying service of others, the most important feature of the diakonia to which I am all called first through baptism and then by ordination.

Writing about Israel to the church in Rome, St. Paul said- "As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all" (verses 28-32 underlining emphasis mine).

God's mercy is Jesus Christ. Hence, I don't need something to believe in, but Someone and not just any old body, but someone who believes in me, not just enough to die for me, but to rise from the dead for me and to remain with me by the power of His Spirit! As Pope Benedict declared at the end of his first Easter Urbi et Orbi message back in 2006: "Christus resurrexit, quia Deus caritas est!", or "Christ is resurrected because God is love." The Gospel isn't free, but it doesn't cost money, it costs me everything, but what I receive is infinitely greater that what, even at my best, I am capable of giving.

Let's not forget the veterans of today's conflicts, especially those traumatized and shaken, wounded physically, mentally, and spiritually, by asking that they come to see and leverage God's love and mercy for them, just as we pray for ourselves. As Brett's heartfelt lyrics remind us, especially when he remembers his friend, experience always trumps ideology.

1 comment:

  1. Scott,
    When my wife was a twenty-something, this was her favorite group of all time.
    Nice choice for a Friday!