Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Every day people are straying away
from the church and going back to God.
Lenny Bruce, comedian, social commentator; he
was born on this date, 1925 [died 080366, age 40]
Oh, I always have such great hopes for “the church” – or “the synagogue” or “the Mosque”, etc. I am such an optimist! (And that’s hard to be when one is also such a cynic!) It’s meant to be a reflection of the Deity – a loving, caring, just, compassionate, gracious community reflecting the Divine nature. Alas – Lenny voices the reality. It isn’t/they aren’t.
Well: they are of course made up of human beings. And human beings are of a very complex nature. We can call the Christian Church the “Body of Christ” all we like; or the Islamic community the “Umma” – the “mother” (from the Arabic), that which gives birth to the People who live the message of Allah. But very very seldom does the human embodiment of “God” resemble one other.
Institutions like the Church have a disappointing way of accepting all those gifts which “Satan” offered to Jesus in the Wilderness and which Jesus firmly refused. Not only do we lap them up, but we have an ingenious gift for being able to rationalize our lapping! How seductive “the World” is! The Hindu guru’s 10 Rolls Royces or the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Palace or the Pope’s Vatican or the Evangelical preacher’s (including Billy Graham!) upper class lifestyle – all are symbols of how God is betrayed by Her earthly representatives, individual or corporate. Much as I love Pope John XXIII, it was quite ingenuous of him to say that he was born and died poor!
I dearly hope it is true that people are indeed “straying away from the church and going back to God”. Not that I want the “Church” to disappear. Like it or not, God cannot exist, as St. Teresa of Avila (whose feast day in Oct 15) so beautifully said in one of her poems, without us humans as Her manifestation in the World. “Going back to God” is a powerful call to the Church to remember who and what we are called to be.
I have said it many times before: if your church or religion does not reflect the Love, Compassion, Justice, Mercy, Kindness, and most of all the leading into new Life nature of God ……… find another, or reform it.
God is so clever!