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The rest of the story

by davesandel on March 11th, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Third Sunday of Lent

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

         Brothers and sisters, Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom.  But we proclaim a crucified Christ … The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

It has gotten cold again, and Margaret is gone.  For a few days I’m alone, and I want to hibernate.  Curl up under blankets, with a book and a light, and hide from …

In the winter when all things rest, I revel in my “weakness.”  There is no need for strength when I am resting.  There is no need to be wise when I am resting.  Some enthusiastic worker bees moved up the date for daylight savings time, so today we have another hour of daylight in the evening.  I’m not ready!  I am still resting.

Actually, it takes me a couple of months to slow down enough to even think about resting, to rely less and less on adrenalin and the artificial energy it creates.  When I watch the trees and plants and read about the bears, I know something of what I need to do.  But doing it takes practice.

When she was on the staff at Willow Creek Community Church, Ruth Haley Barton dubbed herself the “minister of naps.”  When the staff took a trip and anyone said they were tired, she proclaimed, “OK, time for a nap!”

Of course that sounds like a joke to most of us hyperventilating, hypervigilant, hyperactive human creatures.  Descartes’ axiomatic reduction, “I think, therefore I am,” encourages me to rely on my own wisdom and strength but leads eventually to my exhaustion and despair.  The first step of the 12 Steps is the important one: “I find that I am powerless to manage and maintain my life on my own.”

Paul will not leave this idea alone; he returns to it again and again.  Less is more, folks.  Just like Jesus, take a downward path.  Let go.  Die.  And watch what new life comes out of dying.

We proclaim your crucifixion, Jesus, and crave it for ourselves.  Does that seem crazy to you?  It seems crazy to most of us, but Paul rejoices in his own death.  He trusts you and calls and pleads for us to trust you too.  You are “way and truth and life.”  Yes, you are.

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