Father-son chat full of love
Dennis Carnahan, pastor, BridgePointe Community Church, 601 W. 29th St. Terrace:
I would imagine, like most father/son conversations, there would need to be some small talk to get the ball rolling. There is most likely some excitement about the upcoming World Baseball Classic (God loves talking about anything that brings the world closer). As the conversation continues, they no doubt spend some time sharing their disappointment with Major League Baseball; the controversy regarding steroid usage and the “sacred” records is a concern, but there is a deeper feeling of remorse as the “Angels” (God’s favorite team) lost their All-Star first baseman, Mark Teixeira, to, of all teams, the Yankees.
God: “Sometime we may have to reconsider this whole freewill thing!”
After discussing Dorian Green’s farewell performance in the Jungle Friday night against Free State, the conversation quickly shifts to the Border War game after church on Sunday. Neither one seems too enthused nor concerned about Mizzou’s “40 minutes of Hell,” although they chuckle thinking about Columbia, Mo., and the model from which they have to reference.
Jesus: “That pot roast sure smells good!”
God: “Wait ’til you see what we have for dessert!”
As all good fathers do, God senses an opportunity to switch gears and get to what is really important, “Whose names were added to the numbers today?”
Jesus smiles as he shares the names of every single person who decided to trust him with their lives. A celebration breaks out in the other room as the angels are singing their rendition of “Celebration,” by Kool and the Gang. Yes, even the heavenly hosts replace the old trusted hymns such as The Hallelujah Chorus from time to time. Jesus then looks at God and says, “Father, may I pray for them?”
As God smiles and nods his head, Jesus begins to intercede for his flock: “Father (Dad, smiling uncontrollably now), thank you. Thank you for trusting me, your only son, to live a life that makes it possible for mankind to enter into an eternal relationship with us. Father, I thank you for the many people who have taken you up on your amazing offer of eternal life today. Father, I pray that you will increase their desire for the knowledge of your ways and give them courage to do the right things; I pray that they will have compassion to tell others about your goodness, not looking at them through the world’s eyes where they are viewed as broken and hurting but help them to see them as you see them, whole and complete. Father, help them become strong in the faith and allow them to be salt and light to a dying and decadent world. Father, watch over them and keep them safe, helping them to be a blessing to others just as you have blessed us. Oh, and Dad — I love you. Amen.”
— Send e-mail to Dennis Carnahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humanity part of divine reality
The Rev. Vicki Penner, chaplain, Presbyterian Manor, 1429 Kasold Drive:
If Jesus and God sat down to dinner and had a serious discussion, I bet they would talk about why it’s so difficult to convince humanity that everything is ONE.
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and even, “Love your enemies.” God, in the Shema, states, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” Buddhism teaches respect for all things.
Human beings tend to see things dualistically or as many separate entities. Friend or foe. Me or you. Men or women. Black or white. Because of this tendency, we struggle to make sure we are on the “right” side. These struggles lead to violence against others or violence against ourselves as we struggle to “be good,” however we define “good.”
I imagine that Jesus and God, in their talk, would be aware of everything that is going on in the world at exactly that moment. They would feel the pain of the victims in the recent conflicts. They would understand the adrenalin rush of terrorists. They would share the anger of the rest of us have at senseless violence.
At the very same time, they would be feeling the love and warmth of family and friends as many gathered for their Thanksgiving meal. They would have satisfied hunger and comforted hearts.
I imagine that Jesus and God would be holding it all in their hearts. They would note the world’s deep sorrow and potential for unconditional love toward all that is. Humanity struggles to grasp our interconnectedness and that whatever we do to ourselves or others we do to the Divine. God and Jesus, even before they got started on the appetizers, would want to cry out that humanity is an integral part of the one divine reality too.
— Send e-mail to Vicki Penner at email@example.com.