Friday, February 20, 2009

Unintended Consequences

Today's story of the Tower of Babel struck me in a different way today. I noticed the motivation for the building project: to "make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth." Talk about the "best laid plans of mice and men": as the story ended, they ended up in the precise situation they had tried to forestall! The Gospel, on the other hand, gives us a kind of reverse situation: "whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it." Losing one's life (or whatever you are supremely invested in) is no way to "make a name for yourself," but Jesus challenges us to believe that this is precisely how we can secure our place in the kingdom. It's another application of the "Seek first the kingdom of God and his holiness, and everything else will be added to you."
As I reflected on this, I had to ask: how many of us believe the Creed, but not the Sermon on the Mount (which is where the rubber of faith meets the road of real life)? "This is a hard saying," because our only assurance or guarantee is the word of Jesus. (Lord, increase our faith!)

No comments: