I love books. I love mental challenges. I enjoy the intellectual life. But there is a danger of being caught up with books and the world of ideas as to be trapped in them and totally lose contact with reality. Thus, one can fall in love with the idea of ‘love’ and not really love another person. Or one can theorize about social justice but not really lift a finger to help the oppressed, the disadvantaged and those in the peripheries. Or one can wax poetic about what beauty is but never do anything to create or preserve something beautiful.
Christ did not write books; nor did He develop a philosophy or even a theology of everything. He simply lived His life in love and service to others. Where people were sick, He brought healing. When they were hungry, He gave them bread to eat. He joined them in their festivities and ate with them. He shared in their sorrows and wept with them. He did not lecture to people, instead told them touching and memorable stories. He described to them a better place He called the Kingdom of Heaven and how to get there. He did away with all the rules and regulations and left but one commandment, the commandment of Love.
Now, we are back to make things complicated again. We are embroiled in discussions of what is allowed and not allowed, of who are included and who are excluded, of what to do and how to treat those who are different from us. We need to go back and encounter the person of Christ. And then, we can perhaps find the grace to see Him in the people we encounter in our daily lives.
O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
~ Psalm 7
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.