Friday, January 4, 2019
I read this line in a interview with Christian Wiman in Christianity Today: "Jurgen Moltmann once wrote that all theology, especially a theology of hope, had to be conducted 'in the earshot of the dying Christ.'" Joy is what it is because death--and suffering--is what it is too. The two are inseparable in theology and in life.
I also read NY Times Book Review about first time novelist Ayana Mathis. Her novel titled The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, opens up the life of a black woman who came north with the Great Migration. The reviewer admires the book, but clearly doesn't love it because, by her estimation, there's simply too much grief and sadness.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is exactly the kind of novel I like, even love--historical fiction that burrows into the lives of real human beings in a different--mostly American--time and place. But I'm not reading this one because I've come to the age where I don't want to indulge sadness. I'm not interested in happy faces either, but long, depressing literary work, no matter how glorious in style, simply doesn't hold much appeal right now; I'm 61, and I've seen enough of that myself, and I'm going to see more, I'm sure.
This weekend is Epiphany. Today, even in our house, the Christmas tree gets tossed out by the mailbox, and if it isn't windy, gets picked up with the garbage and recycling. It's a calendar date that we really can't avoid, even if we don't know the tradition or the liturgy. Life occurs always within the earshot of the dying Christ.
And we can't avoid Twelfth Night because it is, for better or for worse, a significant chapter in our own stories, as important and wonderful and promising as the day that tree went up in early December. Just as surely, it must come down, and it has.
Sounds awful, I know--but think of it this way: Easter is 'a'comin. Think of it this way: there's always Easter.
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