The Smiling Heretic's Blog

Easter 7 :: May God’s Name be Known

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“I have made your name known…”

It has now been almost two thousand years—two millennia, 20 centuries, two hundred decades, many months of Sundays—since the Jesus event. I wonder what of God’s name is still known? Or, rather, has God’s name been made known, is God’s name still being made known in the way Jesus made it known? How much of God’s name is our projection of Who and What we want/desire/expect/demand God to be, and how much of God’s name is truly the God Jesus showed us God to be?

These are not just the silly ponderings of an aging priest! These are real life-and-death questions.

You see, so much of the time, the God that gets proclaimed to the world is a god we would like to see: loving, to us, not our enemies; compassionate, to us, not to those who’ve done us wrong; salvific, to us, not to those who don’t think/believe/behave the way we do. We construct a god of our own desires. This is a god who hates the ones we hate and who punishes the ones we think deserve punishment and consigns to Hell the ones we would send there. We even call on the name of this god to help us in the wars we fight and and lotteries we want to win and we put the name of this god on the currency we use. We say this god is on our side [not yours] blesses our country [not yours] and brings to prosperity those [not you] who blindly follow the men and women who claim to be prophets of this god. But is this the God whose name Jesus has made/is still making known? 

Easter 6 :: My God is bigger than your God!

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“I see how extremely religious you are in every way.” [Acts 17.22]

St. Paul had been in Athens for a short while, walking around the city and viewing all the statues and shrines to the pantheon of gods the people worshipped. During his time there, he began to discuss with the people—Jews, God-fearing Greeks, philosophers, and anyone who would listen to him—about his belief in Jesus. He soon found himself standing in the Areopagus, an ancient court site, accused of preaching about foreign gods. Just 500 years prior, Socrates was also put on trial at that very place, accused of the very same thing. Remember his fate?

It is perhaps a good lesson to us that Paul did not try to convince the crowd that his was the true spiritual path and theirs was false. Too often nowadays we hear of Christians who take such a negative approach:

Getting to Heaven :: Easter 5 Redux

Mills Sunflower 1

“No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14.6

Click here for my comments on this passage from a few years back… Yes, I’m being a bit lazy right now, but it’s a beautiful day [finally] and I’d really like to go outside and play!

Meanwhile, have a look at this nice picture of a North Dakota sunflower:

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