Friday, July 22, 2011

The Body of Christ Hurts

I was reading a news story about a young boy who was being accused of murder. The child allegedly killed the girlfriend of his father. The majority of the story was a lot of hand-wringing in regards to how this could have happened; and how did people miss the warning signs. The Yahoo news offered two similar stories in which young kids had been bullied for years and lashed out at their abusers. Many of the commentators offer quick and easy solutions. But we have to understand that these wounds do not happen overnight. And mostly they have great complexities' becoming enmeshed in fear and denial.

In the Books of Genesis and Exodus the writers explore the theology of Sin and Evil. The disregard of goodness and truth are not one time actions that appear out of nowhere. Over time when we allow those small moments of disrespect of God's law, and the love of one another to occur, then we begin to beat up the Body of Christ. It is a matter of looking at those "foundational" Sins as being the culprit to much of the sin and brokenness that we experience in our world.

The Sins of pride, envy, lust, greed, jealousy, and sloth, are so often the cause of the hurts and pains that the human family suffers. The stories of the Old Testament speak to us very clearly as to how these Sins move us away from God, and become institutionalized. The reason that the prophets are hated is that they are speaking to a status quo that had become acceptable practice.

Sins such as violence, even in the subtle forms of bullying, disrespect, the lack of charity and compassion, poverty, and all of the different 'isms' we have, find their source in a tradition of Sin and Evil. We are no longer shocked by pornographic images and peoples broken lives.

The challenge is to go back to the mountain of the Lord and to recall who we are and what we are all about. I have couples come in for marriage who will tell my that they were baptized and received their first communion here in this church. My question anymore is, "What does that mean for you today." A lifestyle of goodness has to be more than a series of disconnected nice actions. It really needs to be striving for holiness, justice, and peace.

The Ignatius 'Take Lord and Receive' can be a daily mantra. It is a challenge not to be dragged down into the gunk and muck. In order to bring healing to the Body of Christ we have to be attentive to his presence withing us.

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