Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 – The Fourth Wednesday in Lent
With God, It’s Always Something
“Everything that is, is good.” – Richard Hooker, 16th century Anglican priest and author
“It’s always something.” – Roseanne Roseannadanna, 70’s Saturday Night Live commentator played by Gilda Radner
Richard Hooker was a devout member of the Church of England (the English precursor to the Episcopal Church). Roseanne Roseannadanna was likely an agnostic, though we never got to see her explore that with Father Guido Sarducci.
Roseanne would comment on an item on the news, digress wildly (and hilariously), drop a few names of celebrities she knew, and pronounce a pox on them all. No one crossing her path escaped her disapproval. Richard Hooker was a faithful priest and writer, father of four, and the architect of our basic understanding of Divine authority: we experience God through Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.
Roseanne saw everything as worthy of correction, according to her standards. Hooker saw creation as good, our access to that goodness made possible by the grace and graciousness of our Creator.
Had they had the chance to see the same event simultaneously, they would have no doubt concluded very different things about what had taken place. Notwithstanding the fact that Roseanne was fictional and Hooker real and that they were separated by almost 400 years, the principle is still true: Our opinions matter more to us than to God. We put a much higher premium on being right than God does. God can work with us regardless of whether or not we are right in a given situation.
If that’s true, why should Christians worry about being right at all?
Because right actions and thoughts are all reflections of the Good. Because the Good originates with God and is an aspect of God like wetness is an aspect of water. Because our job, our mission, is to show the world what God is like…and to remind each other that the world is more good than right.
Hooker’s point is that everything in creation bears some aspect of Divine DNA: every rock, every atom, every plant, every person. If it is alive, if it has a beginning, then God’s stamp is on it. The smallest sighting by us of God’s presence in anything is significant because no matter how small that thing is, it can lead us back to (or deeper into) the Source of All Things.
Maybe Father Hooker and Miss Roseannadanna are having tea somewhere in Heaven this morning, having recognized that they were saying the same thing all along. Maybe when Hooker says that the tea is just the right temperature for a proper Englishman and therefore another evidence of grace, she will simply nod and say, “With God, it’s always something.”
Question for the day: When I insist on being right, am I just as intent about being good?
– Christopher Powell