Point to any crucifix and say, “I did that. I do that. I’m not proud of it, but there it is!”
I find Jesus – what He says, what He does, what He expects me to do – so disturbing that I’m embarrassed to let Him out into polite company.
As so many others have tried to do, I nail Him down in hopes of controlling Him, so He won’t remind me and others of how bloody-minded and self-serving I can be. Alas!
He keeps talking about a God who is so passionate for the conversation and companionship of His creatures that He mixes His divine nature up with our human one – to the point where we can’t tell which is which.
God has so infected the world that we bump into Him and His truth, in even the most distasteful of places and activities – Isaiah talking about our righteousness as “used sanitary napkins”, and Paul “counting his best accomplishments as (the common street word for excrement).”
Nothing seems off-limits to God.
We have made the Bible so holy that we’ve robbed it of its interest, its power. We’ve made it a book to own, but seldom read or study seriously.
We fear it. We sanitize it. If we do read it, study it, ponder it, we’re more likely to try and tame it than allow it to be its unruly self. Who can deal with a God who loves and forgives people to whom we would not give the time of day?
Groucho Marx got it right when he said he would never join a club that would have him as a member.
We like to turn the Gospel into Law, and Laws into reasonable, manageable demands that we can satisfy and so please God.
Paul was right: “The Law kills.” And, the sooner I let God do me in, the sooner I begin to experience the resurrection He promises.
It makes no sense – but I certainly haven’t figured out how to beat my mortality; so, I’ll go with God on this one. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job)
I am saved by faith; itself a gift from God. I surely couldn’t/wouldn’t jinn up this kind of deity.
He loves me (no accounting for tastes) and the last thing I want to do is grieve Him in any way – though I continue to do so. Among ourselves, perhaps, we can figure ways to do what’s best for all concerned, or at least try.
It’ll tickle the Old Man – and I love to hear Him giggle.
Pastor Doug Campbell is a retired Lutheran pastor and a member of Faith, Wilmington. He currently is supplying pulpits in the Southern Ohio Synod. He was formerly Deputy Wing Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol in Ohio. Before seminary, he worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, and as the editor of the Chanute AFB newspaper in Rantoul, Ill.