Category archives for christianity
Hey there. It’s been a while. I’ve got some thoughts about returning to writing and taking pictures again soon, but they’re still only thoughts.
For now, I can tell you that Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion was my favorite book I read in 2018, with Iris Murdoch’s The Green Knight runner-up. It took me over a month of 2019 to slog through Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea; I’d been told to read it several times, but it was my least favorite of hers so far. And I know I read something else before that, but I can’t remember what, and that suggests it wasn’t a win.
I can tell you that Bon Appetit’s Adult Mac & Cheese is worth getting down by memory and feel, without measuring cups; it’s not revolutionary, but it’s quick and just a few ingredients and less frustrating than cacio e pepe. Alison Roman’s The Stew, as Instagram calls it, is worth the hype.
Finally, I’ve been thinking about Chuck DeGroat’s words on Transfiguration Sunday & Ash Wednesday. I am a speck of dust. The world was made for me.
Mechtilde of Hackeborn (died 1299) heard these words from the Lord:
“I tell you the truth that I am very pleased when men trustingly expect great things from me. For everyone who believes that I will reward him after this life with more than he deserves, and who correspondingly gives praise and thanks to me in this life, will be so welcome to me thatI will reward him with far more than he could ever believe or boldly hope for, in fact, with endlessly more than he deserves. For it is impossible that someone should not attain what he has believed and hoped. . . . With confident hope you should believe that I will receive you, after your death, as a farther receives his dearest son. . . . I whom am faithfulness itself am incapable of misleading my friends through any sort of deceit.”
As quoted by Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?
Today I got up and dressed in black, and I went to class. We were reading Hebrews 11:8-22, a passage from the middle of the “by faith . . . ” litany. By faith, the passage goes, our ancestors obeyed God and gave up their land and their comfort and their rights. By faith, Abraham stayed in a foreign land and by faith Abraham died in a foreign land, and Abraham did not receive that which God promised him. Yet, Hebrews asserts, “from a distance, [Abraham and his wife and our ancestors] saw and welcomed” the promised things.
This is no blind faith. Abraham sees these promises far off; Abraham looks “forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Abraham desires — images — “a better country,” “a heavenly one,” one which “God has prepared . . . for them.” And faith, the author writes, is the assurance of things hoped for, the being of things not seen. That “being,” hypostasis in the Greek, denotes not just an intellectual certainty but an actual, physical reality. Faith, Hebrews asserts, sees with great hope what will be and what is not yet.
No — we don’t flee. No — we don’t go. No — we don’t fear. No — we stay in the land, and we seek, and we greet with joy the coming promises.
Here’s the one thing, Kate said last night while we worried. We know Hillary couldn’t fix the world anyway. Now the church has to do the things we know we need to do. Now the church has the opportunity to demonstrate that Christ is the source of true care, reform, and love. We still have to do our job, and now salvation can’t be attributed to the party.
Now we know, my Facebook feed was repeating over and over this morning, that voting is not enough. Now we know that casting a ballot isn’t enough to change the world. Now we know better than ever that we vote with our time, money, words, and heart. Now we go, do, be.