Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Honesty is What God is About

"is" - being. Honesty - faithfulness - confession. God/de, higher power, still small voice. About - not inside - doing.

Okay, let's get to the meat of this. I made a promise. I broke that promise on an impulse, and I only realized what I'd done three hours later. I was ashamed, guilty, and I could not undo what I had done (we seldom can). Trust is broken. All we can do is go forward in apology, hoping for forgiveness and maybe restoration of trust someday.

Honesty means keeping promises, and, when you don't or can't, you admit you didn't or couldn't and you make amends or apologies or whatever it takes. Sometimes those amends or apologies are accepted; sometimes not.

I think Jesus incarnation may have been one of God's amends. I know, I know, God doesn't make mistakes or break promises. Yeah, right. Tell that one to me again when I've been crushed by some Christian's betrayal or some atheist's broken word - doesn't matter whether they believe or not. If God doesn't make mistakes, then we're not made in God's likeness - and that I believe.

Jesus hedged when Pilate asked if he were king of the Jews - you say that I am. Okay. As ruler of this town, I can say anything I want; that wasn't the question. The question was, "Do you think you are the ruler here?" Jesus never answered directly. What was honest about that?

At the seder supper on Thursday night, Jesus hints that one of the group is going to betray him. Questions abound. Jesus doesn't answer them. "I know something you don't!"

After the meal and probably a lot of wine and heavy food, Jesus wanders off to a lonely garden when it's quiet. We don't know how long he was there, but his followers, or at least the men (the women had to clean up after the meal and get the kids to bed), wander along with him. They slump down and doze off. Who wouldn't want to do that after a fine meal and some good fellowship? Great night to be outside. Where's Jesus? Oh, he's right over there; we can see him from here. ZZZZZZ Heads dropped over on their chests and some of them probably stretched out amongst the olive tree roots. So, what is Jesus doing? Jesus is begging off from what the result of what he's created in the past three years.

Yeah, God, I went around and told everybody that I was your Son. I saw the sun come through the cloud and I heard you say, "You are my Beloved". And, all those miracles I did. That's what you wanted, wasn't it. Now it's come to this. One of these dudes who has been following me around and taking care of the money has decided the grass is greener on the other side; so he's bringing the guard here to arrest me tonight. And, I don't like the thought of what's going to happen. So, hey, how about renegotiating this deal we have. I won't do anymore miracles, and I'll quit saying I'm the Son of God. I'll even move away so they will forget me. I really don't want to die this young. That hurts.

God didn't answer. Jesus was arrested and died on the cross as a common criminal.

I guess you're wondering how I surmise that Jesus was God's amends, huh? Incarnation. Jesus refuted a lot of the harsh and unkeepable laws of the Jews. Jesus set up two major laws, Love God, Love Your Neighbor. Pretty simple. Do that and you will be forgiven. Yep. Simple. Don't really even have to ask forgiven of what - forgiven of whatever you think you need to be forgiven. And, if you Love God and Love Your Neighbor the rest of life will turn out pretty god. No dying on the cross for you.

God said, "Okay, okay. These laws don't apply any longer - just be sure you cook the stuff properly. And, remember that loving means you don't steal or lie or any of those things - you're honest."

So, we do it for a while - we love, we give, we reflect, we don't lie, we keep our promises,....then one day, we forget. We get caught up in some hole in our psyche and we lie, or we steal, or we break our promises, or we just don't give a darn. We're human; we're not God. Now what?

I guess that what making amends is all about for us - turn around from the lie, from the theft, from the apathy. Remember to Love God and Love Your Neighbor. Eventually, your sin is left behind. Honesty - tell the truth about what you do - right and wrong. Keep it simple.

Hey! God! Hey! You, the Creator! Jesus was a good incarnation, but don't you think it's time you did it again?

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