Print Version November 20th, 2003
Zeal, fervour and legitimate anger: they make a dangerous brew. A murderous brew. You could see it then; you can see it now. It’s the fuel of suicide bombers and the fire of terror.
Yet we are given to mouth the words of the psalm: I will show God’s salvation to the upright. Uneasy words, embarrassing words, that force us to feel our complicity with what gets done in the name of religion in all ages and all places.
But what strikes me about those words is how contrary to pride they are; how unpartisan and deeply un-divisive.
What do I know of God’s salvation? … We know something of God’s salvation because we have tasted it, have each experienced it in our life. But isn’t it true that our experience of being saved by God is, at root, just a little humiliating. Isn’t the truth that we were handed our salvation on a platter at just the moment when we were at the end of our tether, all out of resources? Isn’t the truth that God continues to give us freely what we dearly wish we could deserve? Isn’t the truth that what always stands in the way of our growing relationship with God is that we will not accept what we cannot pretend to have earned?
And that place of grace, that place of salvation, is where we each meet: vulnerable, chastened, … free. And that is what I think we are called to show forth… This place where we are all brothers and sisters in simple need, and simple joy.