Saturday, December 30, 2006

Buying a tire

I brought my hoopdie in because it sounded like a wheel bearing was going. Jim put it up on a lift and saw that everything was fine, except for a bad tire, and he didn't charge me for his trouble.

So I called around and went to the place that had a good deal and agreed at $57 out the door. Then I heard that I'd have to wait an hour and a half, and I had to get to work, so I went elsewhere

Their price was $59 for a slightly lower quality tire, and I said fine. Then the guy proceeded to give me the 4-tire price for one tire and to knock a couple of bucks off the labor, $49 in all.

I stood there reflecting that God arranged some kindness to me, completely without my pushing back at all - in fact, probably because I didn't. The Bible says to expect this, of course, but I realized I really had no clue.

Then I realized something else that I had never seen before. Expecting nothing without my own pushback is indeed living by the sword, and that was a shocking thought. I went out of there seeing that I really have to review everything.

Dangerous as it is, there are times to use the sword, just as there is a time for morphine even with the danger of addiction. But to find my security in that in any form - that's death!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well, I've been thinking about why I don't like Christmas very much. Reading Juan Cole's Christmas Day entry at Informed Comment ( made me understand my own mind a little better, I think.

Theologically, Christmas is a bummer because the joy of the Lord is our strength - the kingdom of God is about joy in the Holy Spirit. Hence hoping for joy in a day of the year is bound to end in disappointment, even if we're commemorating something God did there once. In the same way Gilgal and Bethel were places of idolatry and death (Amos 4:4-5), even though God had indeed done wonderful things at those places which deserve to be remembered forever, to the benefit of anyone who does.

Our joy comes from truth, from remembering the pains of others and doing something about it (Matthew 25:31-46), just as we want others to do for us when we're in pain. Holidays like Christmas are about making happy by shutting our eyes and ears to the pains of others, especially those afflicted with our approval by our favorite empire - and we sure DON'T like it when others do OUR pains that way!

Remember how Jesus said, "Whatever you want men to do to you, do to them, for THIS is the Law and the Prophets," restating Hillel before him, who said, "Whatever you hate do not to others?"

Thus Christmas is when we celebrate what we do all year in our callousness - gliding in luxury over the sea of misery while taking special care not to look at it, blaming it on someone else when it succeeds in forcing its attention on us, even as we are profiting from it.

Talk about keeping Christ in Christmas! How do you keep Christ in Christmas or anywhere else when you shut your ears to his words? Doesn't letting him in have something to do with letting his WORDS in, just as you feel shut out when people refuse to listen to you, player?

And my fellow Christians think that HALLOWEEN celebrates the devil and embodies opposition to God!