Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make Sure You're Alive

The temptation is always to reduce life to size. A bowl of cherries. A rat race. Amino acids. Even to call it a mystery smacks of reductionism. It is the mystery.

As far as anybody seems to know, the vast majority of things in the universe do not have whatever life is. Sticks, stones, stars, space - they simply are. A few things are and are somehow aware of it. They have broken through into Something, or Something has broken through into them. Even a jellyfish, a butternut squash. They're in it with us. We're all in it together, or it in us. Life is it. Life is with.

After lecturing learnedly on miracles, a great theologian was asked to give a specific example of one. "There is only one miracle," he answered. "It is life."
  • Have you wept at anything during the past year?
  • Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty?
  • Have you thought seriously about the fact that someday you are going to die?
  • More often than not do you really listen when people are speaking to you instead of just waiting for your turn to speak?
  • Is there anybody you know in whose place, if one of you had to suffer great pain, you would volunteer yourself?
If your answer to all or most of these questions is No, the chances are that you're dead.  - Frederick Buechner

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Echo of Kindness

The other day I received this handwritten letter from a man I have never met. Let me pass the blessing on to you.

Pastor,

Many years ago I went to your church when I was a youth. I am now 75 years old. I want to thank the church even after all these years. It has taken me a long time to realize some things.

This is the reason that I am writing this letter, to thank the church for feeding us when I was young. God loves us and used other people to help others. I did not understand at that time. I was young about God's love and grace.

Thanks again for the church.

Your brother in Christ

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Greater Gift

"Remember, merciful Jesus, that I am the cause of your journey."

- Mozart's Requiem