Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Doing defines being. A religion must be
judged on the basis of its adherents' behavior.
The Rev. Harry T. Cook (a colleague
and valued friend I’ve never met
in person – but we will!)
Harry may think that I could have found more “profound” things he’s said to quote! Anyway, I urge you to Google him; I think you would find his writings and musings very stimulating.
I think about all the things that I have said or written in over 40 years of preaching. I would guess that there might be less than 10 of those things that anyone has remembered. What people remember is what I’ve done. You knew my name at the altar rail the first time I came to Communion. You appeared at midnight at the hospital when my son was hit by a car, even though you didn’t know us. You received the quilt that I made for my lover who had died of AIDS, and I’ll always remember your hug. You gave the blessing in Italian at our wedding, something my inlaws have never forgotten. You’ve remembered by birthday for the last 23 years!
Pope John XXIII is a personal hero; I don’t remember a thing he said or wrote. I remember that he gave fake baptismal certificates to hundreds of Jews to get them away from the Nazis.
When it comes to what makes a difference, people may not remember the things that God has purportedly said; they will remember that they are unconditionally loved.
Many of America’s politicians these days play the god-card to the hilt. Ultimately, they – and their God - will be judged not by what they said but by their compassion for those they wish to lead.