Welcome to our summer book blog!
Chapter One, The Luggage of Life, added a mirror to my luggage. I was looking right at myself as I read.
I’ve been grappling with the wisdom of a former colleague who said, “The Priest is at the altar, not on the altar.” I tend to take on all kinds of responsibilities as though I have more to offer than did Jesus on the cross. Archbishop Oscar Romero (who was worthy to become a martyr) had the humility to say, “We are the messengers, not the Messiah.”
So, lately I’ve been confessing that I carry around the luggage of self-appointed Messiah. I recognize that this has been piling up since childhood. My older brother died, and I spent my life trying to carry my parents’ crushing load of grief. I’ve tried and tried to fix/save/make nice every situation for everybody. Perfect clergy breeding program, huh?
But to return to Lucado imagery: I lug a trunk full of self-justification. I keep a carry-on bag of fear (trying to be perfect keeps one in perpetual fear of failure). I must have at least a case of snake-oil – after all, if I think I can “save” the world better than Jesus, I am a supreme snake-oil salesman (kinda like TEC’s Presiding Bishop with her “more gracious strand” ideas, but I digress).
And I recognize that I carry a pretty big cosmetics case. I have been trying to polish up and make-over The Episcopal Church for some time. Trying to mike nice and presentable what is really ugly and shameful.
Psalm 23, on which Lucado builds the book, is all about God bringing the necessary stuff. God sets the table. Jesus gives his body and blood. I need to stop acting as though I can do better.
Looking forward to what you are getting out of the book! Will post about Ch. 2 on Wednesday.