Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Messiah

I watched/listened to the inauguration yesterday, impressive in many ways. It has been encouraging to see the nation unite behind a multi-racial man; truly we have come a long way.
I have, however, been simultaneously disturbed at the messiah-like worship I hear coming from so many different people. I don't know that Obama himself is encouraging this- all I know is that humans want a king. We always want a king.

Obama may make a good- even a great- president. I don't know yet, and truthfully none of us will know for another 20 or 30 years. History takes awhile to make those kind of decisions. But I do know that he is not my messiah.

My messiah doesn't promise material prosperity. He seems to rather not give a damn about it, actually, and allows many of his supporters to live in abject poverty. He does, however, guarantee that 'it is well with my soul'.  And for those of us who do have material goods? It is our obligation to share. (Spread the wealth?)

My messiah's health care plan includes whatever disease necessary to keep me humble and obedient. Oh, crap, what am I going to come down with next?!

My messiah's education reform only seems to fund the School of Sorrow. 

My messiah says that earthly change is an illusion. What has been, will be again. There is nothing new under the sun. True change originates from the Holy Spirit.

My messiah's retirement plan is His eternal presence.  Until then, we work like dogs.

My messiah has one job for us all- to spread the gospel and glorify Him. Ok, two jobs. No, three jobs... my messiah has three jobs for us all: oh, nevermind.  Well, many of his faithful followers dig ditches or depend on miracles.  What about creating some jobs here, God??

And above all, my messiah is not a politician. Never cared what the people thought. And never made promises he is not able to keep. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Sensucht is the German word that C.S. Lewis used to describe joy- not lasting happiness, as some people define joy, but rather the deep longing for something beyond ourselves... that often fleeting, melancholy awareness of the supernatural. That brief knowledge that our temporary problems and occupations are shadow realities; they only mimic and distract from the vast reality that is all around us, greater and deeper and truer than we can comprehend.

The smallest things can pierce our heart with this kind of joy, and they are usually different with each person. For C.S. Lewis, the Nordic mythologies were a great source of joy. For myself, it is often the clear night sky, with a bit of crescent moon hanging in it amidst the scattering of stars. Sometimes it is a song- Pink Floyd, oddly enough, and Starflyer- or even a certain word or phrase. It is the most wonderful of feelings, the presence of God that can shake through me at the oddest moments from the oddest sources... and it leaves me longing for more, longing for the day when joy is all I know.