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18 March 2011

What Isn't Going to Happen

Each year, I send an email to a particular friend and state, "Our long national nightmare is over."  Not referring to Nixon's resignation, instead I mean to celebrate Opening Day.  I know I'll do the same thing again this year.

It's easy in religious life to expect, hope, pray, that someone -- anyone -- will stand at the pulpit on Sunday and declare: "Our long ecclesiastical nightmare is over."  All of the problems which plague the church -- persecution, clericalism, tepidity, ignorance, territorialism -- would be  recognized as having petered out.

This will not, obviously, happen at any point in the near future.  In fact, anyone who suggested that these things had ended would more likely than not be selling something other than the Good News.

And perhaps that is the very essence of the Good News.  It is good, so incredibly good, despite what we do to it.  Despite our own human foibles, our distractions, our half-baked crusades, the Good News of  Jesus remains just that.

In my days of theological studies, I sometimes find myself becoming disorientated in relation to this Good News.  I'm called back, thankfully -- yet, unfortunately only in part -- by the remonstrances of Brother Francis.  The only thing I can call my own is my sin; the rest belongs to Christ.

It is His News, after all.

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