The following is totally stolen from Brant's blog. If you want to see it in context, it's located in the comments section of this post
. I just think it is a beautiful, eloquent statement of simple faith, so I'm passing it along to all my readers. Both of them. In case they don't find it on their own.
Now, don't let the fact that the post has fake
comments on it prevent you from moving on to the real
comments section. See, the thing going on here is that Brant writes a post called "If Jesus had a Blog," and then says what Jesus already said, and then lets everyone react--in much the same manner that everyone reacted when Jesus originally said it.
Results include, but are not limited to: Hilarity, sorrow, irony, frustration, and (the most incredible achievement of all) the creation of the Ultimate Blog--one which both comments on itself, and self-mocks it's own commenters.
It's the Circle of Life! (sniff)...
"Love the Lord with all your heart...and neighbor..." is not just another checklist item of things to do. Jesus said his collection of teachings was LIGHT. He said everything else could be summed up with that. Everything. No one seems to believe me when *I* say it, but Jesus said that. I think we miss out if we think this is just the checklist item the guy hadn't crossed off yet. It's the whole ballgame.
I think we're so primed by our theology and complexifying that we miss the simple. I get lectured at by people who think that, in my simplicity, I'm at the very beginning, and haven't encountered the great theological mysteries and working-out of the formulas. But I'm not at the beginning, and I've heard their arguments, and once offered them myself.
But I now agree with Ricoeur: There is a second naivete, at the far side of complexity.
And it's sweet.
We work out these formulas and such, but Jesus lays out judgment in Matthew 25, too. What are we to do with that? And yet it fits perfectly with this.
And a WONDERFUL thing about Matthew 25: It doesn't say "if you've done it unto the least of these" as most suppose. It says if you've done it unto ONE of the least of these, you've done it unto me.
We love to quantify and make a mathematical standard out of LOVE, even. But a child can understand the kingdom. I sit here a horrible sinner, but you know what? Even in my sin -- shoot, because of it -- I can say, yes, I love God.
Again, why would someone who DOESN'T love God even WANT to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? If people don't want Him as He is -- authority and all -- Heaven would be rather horrible, wouldn't it?
Could God be so good as to allow the simple to simply love Him, and then He receive them into His Kingdom? Could it be possible?
As for "assurance" -- some kind of mathematical, "you did it, you're in" checklist or whatever -- no one can ever offer that. We're all ultimately dependent on God's goodness, and I'm banking on it, I can tell you, and I get the feeling, from reading more and more about Jesus, God really IS that good. He really is. I'm not a universalist, I'm a theological conservative. But no, I don't know the wideness of God's mercy, I can't measure it, and it will seem perfectly like Jesus if, in his Kingdom, he welcomes us, and other tipsy stragglers, who just honestly love him.
Labels: Things totally stolen from Brant