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Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

For the football fan, Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” on SI.com is must-read material each week. About this time each year, he includes memorable snippets of commencement addresses, and yesterday’s clip captured my attention.

This is from Aaron Sorkin, the Hollywood screenwriter and producer and Syracuse grad. He spoke at the Syracuse graduations Sunday. What I liked from his speech:

“I’ve made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work, right up until the moment that they decimate your life. Try cocaine, and you’ll become addicted to it. Become addicted to cocaine, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one or the other.

How perfectly do these words picture the power and work of sin. Go through his comments and strip out “cocaine” and “drugs” and substitute “sin” and “evil.”

“I’ve made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to sin addiction. You know how I got addicted to evil? I tried it. The problem with sin is that it works, right up until the moment that it decimates your life. Try sin, and you’ll become addicted to it. Become addicted to evil, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one or the other.”

  • “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7 ESV)
  • “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15 ESV)
  • “For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. (Romans 7:11 ESV)
Is there any hope? Is it in sheer will power? 7 steps? some other addiction program? Our only hope is in the person and work of Christ.
  • “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  (Romans 7:24-25 ESV)
  • “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:1-3 ESV)

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Do you have conversations like this? With a 5 year old?

Emma has been regularly asking questions about God, and Jesus, and the cross. These questions usually arise on trips she takes with me, and some of them have almost caused traffic accidents. Recently, she asked “Dad?” (I am beginning to tense up when I hear that half-curious, half-plaintive tone) “Why do we need a god?”

Last week’s conversation went something like this:

“Dad?”
(That tone again. Brief prayer. Something on the order of a slightly panicky, “Lord, what this time? Let me get it right, or at least semi-right. You didn’t give any instructions on explaining to a 5 year old.” I am sure I hear faint, divine snickers at this point.)

“Yes, Emma.”

“Did Jesus like dying for us?”

After a couple questions that are supposed to fool her into thinking I am trying to clarify her question, but in actuality are just playing for time…and more prayer, I dive into explaining that to a 5 year old.

Whereupon, I hear her comment, “Okay. That checks out.”

“That checks out!?!?!” thinks I, spluttering like Jim Mora being asked about the playoffs. But before I can process that … affirmation?, confirmation??, approval??? she asks once again, “Dad?”

‘Ohdearohdearohdear. What now? What have I done to deserve this? What former student(s) have been praying for this very event?’ Deeeeeeeep breath. Exhale. Another cleansing breath. Gasp/squeak/moan, “Yes, Emma?”

“If Jesus is God, how could God turn His back on Jesus?”

‘ohstinkohstinkohstink. How do you explain the Trinity to a kindergartener? Someone help me. Please. Pretty please.’ Another deeeeep breath, and I dive into the explanation.

And once again I hear her matter-of-fact comment, “Okay. That checks out.”

Reduced to stammering, gibbering speechlessness, I implore God that she never sit on my ordination council.

“Okay. That checks out”


 

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