Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pentecost +22 – C4

Pentecost +22 – C4

Year C
Luke 18:9-14

Thank goodness neither I nor readers here trust in themselves! We be but worthless worms!

Was it otherwise we, too, might be tempted to impose our level of grace as the standard for all, regardless of age or experience. Variations on a theme of grace seem infinite. While trying to understand a mystery such as grace we set up a triage tree.

Are we on a branch of prevenient grace? And, if so, do we honor it?

Might we be settled on another limb, justifying grace, just as worthy, but different?

Could we be as high or low (depending upon our cosmology and theology of servanthood) as sanctifying grace? Or, is this a jump, squirrel-like, to another tree entirely?

As large as this Trinitarian dissection of grace may be, it is much too small for the reality of any one life, not to mention that of a community. We may spend more time between such classic conceptions than in any of them. Eventually we will need to toss out our pride of place in grace along with a trust in perks as prayer tokens.

= = = = = = =

"pleased to be here already"
"distraught to be only here"
are cries from
experienced prayer warriors
battling others and self
for G*D territory

building a prayer ziggurat
to the heights of heaven
digging a prayer shaft
to the foundations of paradise
show our pride
establish our place

whichever way we strive
to justify our choices
or construct our basis
for generalized justification
we enter a never-ending
tread mill of examine

pronounced justified
we are justified
in separation from
those not so recognized
and we play the grace game
from the other side

pleased and distraught
becomes our cage
never at home in either
yearning for a new parable
in which to find ourselves
and one another closer

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