Monday, January 08, 2007
Today in the gospels I read the words of Christ Jesus when he said that it is better to go through life with one eye than into hell with two eyes, and so if the eye causes one to sin, one should gouge it out. He went on to say the same about if your hand causes you to sin it would be better to cut it off and go into Life maimed than into hell physically whole. Tough words. Violent words. Violent repentance.
And then there's that verse about the Kingdom of God coming in violence and violent men taking hold of it. More tough words. And this afternoon on the phone, a friend of mine asked me what my take on that verse was. I recalled this morning's gospel reading.
I also recalled an incident at the county fair when I was a kid: Ten or eleven years old. I went on a ride called "The Octopus" which had extendy arms and seats that spin and the arms go up and down and the seats spin and the whole thing is also spinning. Quite a whirl. Quite a thrill.
Unless, that is, your safety bar does not latch and you are sliding and clinging with all that is in you so that the few minutes of the ride aren't your last. Violent clinging, that was. There was that adrenaline, that fear, that sense of life or death.
Obviously I'm here blogging about it, so I did not die that day. But that's what came to mind when I was thinking of taking the Kingdom of Heaven by force, with violence. It's about being adrenaline-awake to the things of God because our lives, our souls, our being depends upon it. It's about clinging to Him violently, seeking peace violently, ruthlessly, with all that is in us...with that kind of energy.
Just some thoughts.