Wednesday, January 9, 2008

True Religion

on reflection, i think the basic is christian stance is one of confusion. if we identify with the disciples more than anyone else (perhaps after Jesus), then confusion is our fundamental response to God's revelation of himself.

when i read the Gospels, i can't help but be caught by how strange Jesus seems to act. picture the night of the last supper as narrated by john. the guys are at a party, eating some good food, telling stories, nudging each other in the ribs at private jokes. suddenly Jesus starts speaking about leaving them. what a mood killer. just a day or two ago he rode into jerusalem with the crowds fronting him as a political revolutionary. now he's talking about leaving. but it fits, a little, cuz Jesus has been talking about death. he's been a sort of funk this entire trip to jerusalem. like he's paranoid of the other establishment religious leaders. but he's the miracleworker. he's the one with the big ideas. so they go with it.

the disciples must be so confused. they must cringe at the moment to moment fear of having their feet knocked out from under them. you never know what to expect with Jesus.

i sometimes think that when i'm most disoriented feeling, when i don't know quite what God is doing in my life, only that he is actively surgically altering something or other within me, then i am closest to true religion. similarly, when i'm "caring for the orphan, the alien, and the widow"--however poorly my attempts at it go--i am often quite certain that i have no clue what i'm doing. all my actions seem inconsequential; if God is present here--if Christ is present here--i can't see how. and that confusion is, perhaps, the holy presence of God.
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