Sunday, October 1, 2006

Cut if off

From Mark:

Whoever causes any of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed  than with two hands go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'

Why is Christ telling me to punish myself? Am I unworthy? Irreverent?  Unneeded? I don't believe that. I refuse to believe that. This is a story about inside and outside, those who die to self and those who indulge. This is a message of love and peace, of patience and fidelity, of sacrifice and determination. I am already made worthy by Christ's death and resurrection - the gates of Heaven have been opened, the trappings of death cast off and replaced with the resplendent robes of eternal life.

I don't have to cut off my hands or pluck out my eyes, but I have to choose love. I have to choose peace and sacrifice. I have to die to self, to the selfish and worldly instincts that drive me from my brothers and sisters and leave me in an island of loneliness and death. The great millstone around our necks is a choice, and one made available to us out of love, not anger.

I choose life, and love, and faith.


It's been a crazy weekend here in TouristTown, USA. After watching 3/4 of Monk, season two, J and I took care of errands around the house and in town. I love living in the center of town. While the constant sounds of sirens, motorcycles and thundering big-rigs leaves something to be desired, I adore waking up on a Saturday morning, walking half a block to the local farmer's market on the square, buying fresh bread and produce, getting a hot cup of coffee at the local shop, stopping by the library, and then meandering home to enjoy the fresh homemade whoopee pies we got just a short while ago.

Militant Suburbia? City Living? I'll take a small town any day of the week.


Tag: faith, whoopee