Thursday, May 15, 2008

npr + religion

so this is pretty interesting. i sat in the back of mass tuesday, WITH A PRIEST, and therefore got called out to do a reading. [which i like to do, but i'm just saying.] and then i had this one, which i don't remember hearing ever [you know, letter of james] but will be pretty useful, i think.

No one experiencing temptation should say,
“I am being tempted by God”;
for God is not subject to temptation to evil,
and he himself tempts no one.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters:
all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

- James 1:12-18

[i was also inspired by this post from my blogpast that i stumbled on, umm, while reading my own blog. check out how semi-apologetic i am for writing about something you all might not be interested in. boy, THAT'S changed.]

so "all good giving and every perfect gift is from above." and God doesn't send us bad things to test us. i mean, some of the rest of the reading that i left out is pretty weird. but i like the sentiment, because i try to argue this all the time. i hate that some people have this image of God, trying to trick us or get us to trip up or sending us suffering as a test. this is one for the "harmful misconceptions that people have about God" file.

i've recommended or mentioned this a couple times, so here it is on the blog - "waiting for joe" from this american life a few weeks ago. it's kind of disturbing if you love God, but also a really really interesting take on religion.

also, you've got to read this gospel. same day. [what a weird day of readings.]

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

- Mark 8:14-21

i mean, this is a twofer. first, we have metaphor. i only wish that the disciples had used the word "literally." [as in, "i would literally die if that happened."] then, we have the disciples being stupid, which i love. i love that we're here 2000 years later like "what are the theological implications..." when it turns out the disciples had no IDEA what was going on, ever.

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