Right now as I type, the inter-webs is still blowing up along the hashtag #ThingsJesusNeverSaid – This is a very clever thing. A place for progressive Christians, non-Christians, and conservative Christians to sling the proverbial spit and mud at their blind counterparts in 140 characters or less.

I have to admit many of the posts made me chuckle. Many made me angry. Many more made me quite sad. Again we’ve found a way to rob our ‘one anothers’ from civil discourse and meaningful dialogue. We continue to pursue biting memes and short-hand kvetching as opposed to sincere conversation.

We can stand around pointing fingers all day long but on this day (It is ‘Good Friday’ as I write) no fingers were being pointed by Jesus. In fact on this day Jesus said very few things…one of the more profound things that the New Testament declares he said is, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

It breaks my heart that the church that is to be known for its ‘love of one another’ is instead trotting around and showing its disdain for one another. This is always the danger of taking a religion that had a communal concept of life and salvation and allowing it to transition into a faith that is all about personal salvation and personal gain/growth. If we could only return to the time when the church was in it together…not to win rhetorical dance-offs but rather a time when the heart of the faithful was about lifting the oppressed, serving the marginalized, caring for the downtrodden.

Jesus, it is said, died for the entire world…not for those we like or agree with. Jesus exposes power structures that rob others of their fullness of life. Jesus served the oppressed in order that their hope might be restored.

The irony of #ThingsJesusNeverSaid is that most folks sincerely believe that Jesus is in full agreement with their quips. I find it hard to imagine that Jesus, who fought for the dignity of ALL people, would side specifically with any of us in our foray into Twitter fame.

Put down your hashtags…put aside your polemics…lift up your neighbor whether they are gay or straight, conservative or liberal, male or female, fundamentalist or progressive, religious or not, optimistic or pessimistic, friend or enemy.

Because the one thing we are assured of in the Gospels is that Jesus did say to “love our enemies” and on this particular Holiday we are even called to remember that Jesus not only loved them he also stood before G_d asking on their behalf for their forgiveness. May we learn something from this day of remembrance.

Peace to you and yours. Remember: Agreement should never be a prerequisite for loving others.

Today’s Blessing (4.22)

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things that You would be willing to leave the heavens, to leave Your Glory behind, to leave the ‘safety’ of Your courts – in order to pay the penalty of a broken covenant.

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things that You willingly and knowingly signed both sides of a contract that You knew we would fail to uphold.

Today is Good Friday – not sure that it got that title until after Sunday – but then again hindsight is 20/20. Soren Kierkegaard once wrote about Good Friday that it isn’t so amazing that G_d in the flesh (Jesus) was able to rise from the dead – rather the amazing part was that we were able to kill G_d! What a fascinating thought…I’m not so sure that we killed G_d as much as He laid down His life for us.

I want to ponder that for a moment…I think we believe that G_d laid down His life on that Friday afternoon…but I’d argue that He laid down His life much earlier in Genesis 15:

12Now when the sun was going down,a deep sleep fell upon Abram…

17It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.

G_d made a covenant with Abraham to be a blessing to the world, to have many descendants – many nations come from Him…but Abraham would have to sign a Covenant of agreement to do this – G_d had Abraham lay out a blood-path that typically both parties (one on each side of the contract/covenant) would have to walk through to sign – signifying that if either did not live up to their obligation of the covenant that they would become like the animals along the bloodpath – death! Abraham never signed…but G_d signed twice (see verse 17 above) – G_d passed through the bloodpath once for His side and once for ours.

Jesus’ death on the cross was (at least in part) a result of our failure to uphold our side of the covenant that He signed on our behalf.

My prayer today is that we might uphold the covenant and be a blessing to all the people we come into contact with – so that the children of the kingdom can be like the numbers of the stars in the heavens.

So that Today can truly be Good Friday!