Lent - Last Week - Saturday - Year A
1 Peter 4:1-8
Proclaiming “the gospel” may not be bound by time. Of course, figuring out what is meant by "gospel" in any given context is difficult. This is one of those wiggly words whose meaning seems to be in the mouth of the utterer.
Presuming that Superman can fly faster than light backward, thus reversing time, there is no reason why the dead and gone can't be posthumously enlightened. And if they can be proclaimed to, why can't they be baptized in absentia? Where is the limit of how we can use the dead for current ends?
On this silent Saturday when a creedal Jesus is off doing his workaholic thing in Sheol or Hell or Wherever, it might also be mentioned that we need to get away from a 2,000+ year-old misconception - that the end of all things is near. Such a concept keeps getting in our way of actually being relevant. You may be interested in how Kevin Kelly puts this in his hour-long conversation with Michael Dowd on a series known as The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity: Conversations at the Leading Edge of Faith (they have a special offer through April 25, 2011).
What would happen if we let the dead bury the dead and weren’t speculating quite so much about being eternally secure tomorrow? Perhaps the last line in this passage would be a bit easier to experience - “Above all, maintain constant love for one another....” Ahh, maintaining love after death and before eternity - that sounds doable.