Wednesday, March 12th – The Second Wednesday in Lent

Old School


Do you like the phrase, Old School? I do. I’m not entirely sure why, but it suggests that there is an older, simpler, more effective way to get things done. Whether true or not, I like the idea it is.

The stories from Scripture are Old School, for sure. What I like about the majority of the stories is that while there are concrete things that happen (the Flood; the Exodus; the building and destruction of the Temple; Jesus raising Lazarus; etc.), often the stories themselves invite more questions than they provide definitive answers. In the cases where they provide definitive answers, the story of our Life With God simply starts a new chapter. Every ending is a new beginning, which sets us up nicely for the Death of Jesus and the New Beginning it occasions.

There is another aspect of Scripture being Old School that I like even more. It’s the fact that the stories are messy, as messy as our own lives. The creative process, even with God, is invariably messy. When the Ultimate Mystery deigns to join itself to our temporal existence, we should expect nothing less.

I remember when MTV used to show music videos. Talk about Old School. I enjoyed the ones that were dedicated to artists talking about how they wrote the hit songs that made them famous. I was fascinated listening to them…and without exception disappointed. I expected some kind of mountain-top experience to be behind these iconic works of popular music when in reality, these songs, like muses, floated down to the artists when they were doing something amazingly mundane. Some artists were under the influence when they created their art. Some were not very good people, by any measure. Some were walking to the grocery store or recovering from some trauma, many of which were self-inflicted. You get the idea.

Creativity is not linear. Love is not linear. Nothing living follows a perfectly straight line. Our attempts to straighten out the crooked lines of our existence are often met with disappointment or worse. Once straightened, they often get crooked again. Quickly. That’s why Jesus says that love covers a multitude of sins. It needs to. Each of us is guilty of at least that many offenses against God and each other, even if only in our thoughts. The process by which we become ourselves most regularly involves folding in the parts of us that are not lovely and aren’t going to be any time soon. When Paul figures all of this out, he writes, “God demonstrates his own love for us this way: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God figured messiness (and sinfulness) into the whole arrangement of Divine Love for His creatures.


Questions for the Day:
How do I expect God to make Himself known to me? What am I waiting to ‘fix’ before I let that happen?


– Christopher Powell


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