Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Weakness and Power

3 Lent

From the conclusion of my homily:
I suggest to you that this inversion of wisdom and foolishness and power and weakness means that we can stop trying to be “wise,” or to win “signs” from God. We can cease trying so desperately to be spiritual, and trying not to be thick. Power is found in joining ourselves to the salvation that Christ has accomplished. It is not spiritual victories or warm fuzzies or a feeling of “excitement for the Lord” that makes us safe in Christ. Christ alone makes us safe in Christ. We already find ourselves in the temple of the Living God, encountering the thin place where the boundaries between heaven and earth disappear. We are called to join ourselves to the rhythm of the liturgy, welcoming into our lives the ongoing presence of the salvation that was worked out in another place two thousand years ago.

We are freed from our searches for wisdom, those fool-proof, fail-safe, forty day or ten step plans that promise to make life with Jesus finally “work” for us. No more measuring spiritual growth: “getting results” will not bring us home from exile. Rather, we must open our eyes and see that we have already been carried home. It is our inability to make discipleship work and our willingness to be with him in all of our self-recriminations that we can begin to understand ourselves as recipients of grace. We must understand this, as people who join Christ in making up the temple of God: our need and destitution do not drive God away, but necessitate God’s presence. It is safe for us to be fools. It is safe for us to be failures. We have just remembered a long story of promise, failure, apostasy and hope. The truth is that God’s faithfulness is always so much more than our strengths and weaknesses. Whatever we lack, our gracious Master has supplied. He has given us his own life to eat and drink, that by our participation in him, we die and are raised up anew.
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