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The Paradox of Humanity


I sit here this morning with a tiny creature in my lap, she is so full of love and excitement about life.


Myself, with coffee held carefully in hand, am once again reading words that for 50 years have framed my approach to life. Yet, never having fully attained to a love sufficient to lay down my life of free human choice, as did the Christ, while having access to legions of angels if needed!


We humans have had portions of these scriptures around for thousands of years, and we still have tendencies toward violence with each when treated wrongly, sin we call it.


We know better, our pets teach us of such possibilities. As one friend recently texted, "Dogs are the best Christians I know!"


At times I would agree.


It wasn't just my tiny lap dog's kisses and hugs that set off my thoughts this morning, but rather my read in John 18:23-27. There we find Jesus bound before the High Priest, Caiaphas.


He is being questioned, even at one point slapped by an officer for his candor and honesty. Also in the room, a kinsman of the one who's ear Peter had severed. He recognizes Peter and of course Peter then denies, his third failed opportunity to support his friend.


Here we see another set of threes! That seems how I process things, never simply either/or.


First the well studied religious elite, who seem somehow to have missed the many prophecies foretold in their studies, even having missed their own 30 pieces of silver betrayal moment earlier, as was foretold by Zechariah.

All human, blinded by their buy-in to the religious industry.


Secondly, another who was in the garden at the arrest, likely an eye-witness to an amazing miracle. Imagine seeing an ear severed, then the very one you are there to arrest, he having been accused by the religious establishment of professing to be from God, places the ear back on the head of your kinsman and it heals up before your eyes! Unimpressed, blind as well!


Then of course there's Peter, who had severed that infamous ear given his knee jerk tendencies. He is now denying for a third time that he has ever been anywhere near this man.


Stupidity on his part, as he was only in the room because a "known disciple" with connections with the High Priest had gotten permission for him to be in the room! You can't make this stuff up!


Simultaneously, the cock is heard crowing, just like the one who had earlier washed Peter's feet, had prophesied.


How do we humans do what we do in such moments? Yet I could easily speak of myself and things I have done, even after seeing miracles throughout my life. As well, I have been deep in the belly of a well-favored religious institution and know the decisions men will make to preserve reputation and revenue.


And yes, at times, have all but had my feet washed physically in intimate moments with the Christ.


As I struggle with my humanity, I recall the Good News, that the Word became flesh, fully human. The text earlier capturing something for me to identify with.


Though we clean it up as "righteousness indignation", Jesus too lost his cool, when he saw poor folk being sold high priced doves, at the temple entrance. He apparently picks up several cords, quickly devising a whip of sorts, as he turns over the tables.


One might assume, if there were other items such as the cords present, what likely began as a necessary accomodation for those traveling to the temple for the purpose of well-intended religious sacrifices, had become an outright fleamarket.


Jesus, like I would surely have done, lost all restraint!


When I read such words, I feel a little more comfortable with my humanity!


Yet, in Jesus's case he the went a step further, laying down his life, an undeniable and divine demonstration of God's love, yes, even after his display of raw human frustration at the temple's marketplace. He was a God-man.


To me, these moments provide not only evidence that Jesus was human, but also that humans can behave differently when empowered by the Spirit, the main message of the God becoming flesh.


Bottom line, if we can design robots that can flip hamburgers and prepare French fries (on the news last night), computers that can assemble vast amounts of information instantaneously, communicating immediate remedy for once complex scenarios (AI), surely with the Spirit's presence in us we can simply love each other. We are without excuse!


I'm still working toward that goal!

The pup, though less intelligent, seems already there and comfortable with simply being in my lap!



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Good Sunday morning to you and Coco

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