Thursday, April 24, 2003

Another reply to Leahkim

Leahkim, you wrote:

Often people who don’t believe things can happen, they don’t try hard enough for things to happen. Wouldn’t you agree on that? …sometimes it is really hard to draw the line between realist and pessimist. have hoped and still continue to hope…for many impossible things… Many then thought impossible…became so possible and came true. As long as we can keep our head straight and open our hearts to a warmer brighter side…not giving up…Trying our best…. Hope will exist…

Besides… nobody believed that Jesus was going to rise from death…and he did…

Let’s hope and let’s try our best to make that dream and hope…wish come true.

So much to think about! They didn’t believe Jesus was going to rise from death (theological technicality: “be raised” from death) and when they first encountered the Risen Christ, they still didn’t believe it! We humans have tremendously preconceived ideas of what is possible, and sometimes we are so unseeing and unhearing when anything even slightly outside of our concepts of the range of possibility appears in our lives.

Seems as if a lot of what you’re saying is when people don’t believe (trust), then they don’t try doing or accomplishing anything. One of my most recent posts on this site was about God working through us – I read somewhere God does nothing without human cooperation: I won’t go quite that far, as I think at times God does directly intervene in earthly affairs with what we might call a “miracle,” but for the most part not only the Church, the Body of the Risen Christ is responsible for God’s presence and God’s activity and work in the world; in addition, God has no problem with anonymity, not needing or wanting or expecting to get credit for everything the way humans insist upon.

The biblical writers – especially Jesus and the prophets – the early Church we hear about in the book of Acts and the Church today and all people everywhere, find themselves walking and living such an exceedingly fine line between hope and trust and action and “works!” Without necessarily considering and intending our activities and responses as works righteousness, still seems like people truly and firmly believe God should be giving them points or credits adding up on their charts for everything they try to do and achieve. I know I think that way more often than not!

Then, of course, Jesus is extremely clear about whatever we do to “the least of these” is as if we’d done it to him, and therefore to God, as we know Jesus both as human and as the definitive manifestation of Divinity. Because of this, any reasonable person – especially any reasonable Christian, definitely would strive to start and to finish as many kind and merciful and redemptive actions as possible.

As it says in the Bible: “With God all things are possible;” “With God nothing is impossible;” “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” And that’s when and where our trusting hope and our serious action both need to happen! After all, if the Mighty God of all Creation, our God of Majesty, Glory and Sovereignty could be born on this earth into human society and live and die as one of us, what on earth is not possible?!

In any case, since God indwells each of us as Spirit, and since God works through not only Christians, the body of the Risen Christ, in order to be God with humanity but God also has no difficulty at all working through not Christians as well as people who affirm no Higher Power whatsoever, how much more “unbelievable” can you get?

You also said, “Trying our best…” It appears to me one of our most serious human sins is not in trying to be more than we are, more than we were created to be, but our most serious sin is willingness to be less than we are, less than God created us to be! I know I find myself willing to settle for less (OK, less from myself and less from others) than I “should” – and I say “should” very advisedly!

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