Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If We Do Not See Our Own Sin

In the daily devotional book I use regularly -- Hour by Hour (Forward Movement Publications) -- Wednesday morning prayer begins with 1 John 1:8, 9. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Rich in meaning, these two verses deserve our sustained attention and meditation. As we engage the text, one point, having to do with our approach to sin, is clear and worthy of deep-shaft mining to the core of our being. Namely, to the extent that we prospect to locate and expose sin in the world, we must begin with and focus primarily on our own claim. We must find and work to excavate our own sin first, not that of our neighbor. To shift to the biblical metaphor, acknowledge the plank, first and always. Then the speck may be seen. In spiritual and ethical terms, the confessional must precede and inform the prophetic.

Monday, March 24, 2014

To Be More Like a Dog

To Be More Like a Dog

On a recent Sunday, driving to early church, we saw a man, perhaps in his 40s, with a dog, a black Labrador Retriever, on a leash. They were walking along the sidewalk in a modest semi-urban neighborhood. The dog, stretching its sphere to the length of the leash, even gently pulling the man to extend the edge to a new sphere, moved attentively over the concrete and yards to investigate everything within sight, touch, sound, and especially smell. Never really stopping, even when paused at some point to inspect and sniff more closely, it found every object, every spot, to be of at least some interest, and certain objects and spots to be of intense interest. Exploring the world about, the dog seemed to consider nothing unworthy of attention, whether in passing or in thorough-going investigation, to the fullness of its canine capacity.

One could do worse than to be more like a dog in discovering the world around and about to be so absorbing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Mystery Concerning Love

If true and sufficient love were simple cause and effect of returned true and sufficient love, we would all be living in Eden still.