Monday, April 30, 2012

A Note on Science and Belief

Belief in God isn't for me, some fact we're taught or given. It isn't a lesson like "if you drop an apple, it'll fall to the ground."

It's an experience that gives context to the facts.

If, at one time, our best observation and understanding said, "the sun travels around the earth," finding out otherwise doesn't mean that our ancestors in faith who believed were unfaithful or heretics for writing poetry thanking God for the sun's daily travel. It means we now write songs of praise for the yearly trip that the earth takes around the sun.

And if we once thought mythologically and made up stories to explain a creation that gave credit to God for our being, the fact that we now investigate scientifically and think that we have generations of development---yes, evolution---behind our being makes us no less indebted to God.

Why is this such a threatening idea?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jesus, Judas, and Friends

They were friends, you know. Knew each other well, traveled around together, ate together. All that.

And really, setting aside Jesus being Lord and all, it's just one of those things that happens with friends. Visions differ or change or were misunderstood.

Maybe you've been betrayed. Maybe you've betrayed. Maybe no one was betrayed but everyone goes away feeling some trust was broken.

Or we're just broken.

I had an acting teacher in college who said over and over that no one plays villains. Every character we play had to believe s/he was doing the best thing, whether for the world or for the self, but really doing the best thing.

So I sympathize with Judas. Surely he thought he was doing something for some purpose---we can argue what. Something about Israel, maybe, or when Jesus said "the Reign of God," some other picture came to Judas' mind than what Jesus had in mind.

It just all got so terribly out of hand. And however passively, he had the help of the other disciples.

"Do quickly what you are going to do."

"Could you not keep awake one hour?"

In the night of the new commandment---that we should love one another---deeds are quickly done or else sleep overcomes. A nap. A kiss.

Jesus. Judas. A few other friends. Everything broken.

Remain here. Stay awake.

I mean well.