Sunday, December 31, 2006
A Christmas hymn you'd probably recognize more by the tune than the words, has the refrain: Ideo gloria in excelsis Deo! It's Latin for Therefore, glory to God in the Highest! and the melody forces the Ideo part three times before you get to the Glory to God part. Therefore... therefore... therefore...
Therefore what? Is it an invitation or a command? In philosophy, in mathematics, a = b, therefore... something always follows. Christ is born. God is with us. Therefore... what? For some it means: Therefore I'm saved. My sins are washed away. I'm assured of a place in the Heavenly Kingdom.
My guess is The Heavenly Kingdom will remain a cesspool of hate and despair until we get out there and clean it up. Clean it up, not by killing off those who hate us, not by bandaiding poverty by sinking more tax dollars into assistance programs, but by living each day with a clear understanding that it's all or none. I cannot get to heaven by stepping over your failures. I can only get there by stooping down to pick you up. My failure to do that will keep us both out.