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  •  I am reminded (3.75)
    of one of my favorite Christmas-y readings ever. It's from, of all places, W. H. Auden's poem "For the Time Being":

    Though written by Thy children
    With a smudg'd and crooked line
    Thy Word is ever legible
    Thy meaning unequivocal
    And for Thy goodness even sin
    Is valid as a sign.

    Christ comes in the person of, and is to be found among, the homeless we step over on our way to do our Christmas shopping. The people with AIDS. The prostitutes. The drug addicts. The battered spouses. The elderly shuffled off to nursing homes.

    It is rare, alas, that I find Christ speaking through those who are allegedly or professionally supposed to represent him. The authentic voice of the Gospels comes as often from outside the Church (any denomination) as it does from within, if not more often. But, as the United Church of Christ would have it, that voice is still speaking. Still calling us to come and see, to do as Jesus did.

    I am also reminded of the Gospel passage I have chosen to have read at my funeral Mass, specifically because I want those who hear it to take it as their commission:

    Whenever the Son of Man may come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. All the people of the world shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and he will place the sheep at his right hand, and the goats at his left.

    Then shall the Ruler say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed of my Father, receive the realm which was prepared for you from the foundation of the universe. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me, naked, and you clothed me; I was ill and you watched over me; I was in prison and you came to me."

    Then the just will answer him and say, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you to drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and come to you?"

    And the Ruler will answer and say to them, "Verily I say to you, as often as you did one of these things for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me."

    (Matthew 25:31-40, my translation from the Greek)

    Michael
    "Je ne regrette rien" -- Edith Piaf
    Now let's take our country back!

    by musing85 on Wed Dec 22, 2004 at 06:29:44 AM PST

    •  I once heard a great sermon (none)
      on Matthew 25 entitled something like "Getting the Final Exam in Advance."  Seems like our fundagelicals may have "stolen the wrong f--king exam"!   (Apologies to Matthew and to John Belushi...)

      Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

      by Pondite on Wed Dec 22, 2004 at 08:55:26 PM PST

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