fearday the thirteenth

13 08 2010

Fate led me to accidentally walk under a ladder, but touch wood everything was fine – my star sign said it was going to be a difficult day, but I’m a good guy so I figured what goes around comes around and karma would treat me well. Anyway, as luck would have it I was wearing my cross and I took communion yesterday so I pretty much knew God would protect me. Even it had all ended in tears I know I would be ok because I was baptised so I’ll got to heaven. Touch wood.

be afraid

Superstition is everywhere. Beliefs that denote a wish, a desire for something; a hope that there is a higher power that looks out for us. Touch wood  – many say it, but does anyone actually believe that wood has special powers? Fate – a fear that there is some power that directs us like 2 blobs on a GPS into situations that we have no control over. Luck – an entity with a quota we might use up. Superstition comes from fear, fear that something somehow somewhere is going to make bad things happen. Fear that someone is out there trying to trip us up.

Religion often acts in the same way. It also stems from fear, fear that God looks on us badly, fear that we need punishing, fear that in the end he will make bad things happen or send us to hell. We bargain with God in the hope that he won’t trip us up; we look busy doing our best to please him; and if that is a bit much, we try to win him over (or con him) with some superstitious beliefs in the power of church attendance or the eucharist or baptism or confession or jewellery or money or quiet times or piety.  I know I haven’t given you much time over the years, Mr God, but here is my baptism certificate and my lucky cross to show I hadn’t forgotten you.

Should we be more afraid of the very real and tangible Mr God?

I am afraid but I am not afraid. I am afraid because God is God – beyond our comprehension and understanding, beyond planets and universes and full to the brim of creative wonderment and overflowing with so much love we could not look upon his face. I am afraid because I am human and he is God.

I am not afraid because God is not like a holy Subbuteo player ready to flick us from this world. I am not afraid because God does not demand endless superstitious acts to keep him onside, acts that I might get wrong and muck it all up and have to start again. He is remarkably irreligious. I am not afraid because Jesus asks for our whole lives and when we give him everything it would be totally out of character for him to turn round and say thanks for this but you forgot to touch the wood. And by the way, its Friday the 13th so you’re out of luck…

I am not afraid because he bursts through and breaks and shatters all ideas of luck and karma and fate with his wonderful, endless grace, grace we cannot earn or bargain for but grace which is given and which we can receive.  As the prophet Bono says: Grace travels outside of karma. Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. Grace is the thought that changed the world. Grace is real and tangible and is called Jesus. I said that last one.


Update – Fran points out that Mumford & Sons talk about grace in Roll Away Your Stone – so here it is too!

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7 responses

13 08 2010
c2drl

I wonder whether religion contributes to and reinforces the fear and superstition. “If you don’t believe in God you will go to hell!!!” “God has a special way for you and if you don’t find it he will not bless you!!!” and so on.

In our modern and post modern society we want to see everything as cause and effect. If something has gone wrong there must be a cause. Because man is clever he must be able to find a way to change events. To stop volcanoes and floods, to cure cancer and dementia. We can’t concieve of a loving God who lets things happen and gives us the stgrength, not just to get through but to bring good out of evil.

It would be easier if it was down to touching wood or not walking under ladders, but instead we are called to make our own judgements and to live with the consequences, but always to have God walking with us. I can’t understand that so it can’t be true, or if it is its a bit scarey!

13 08 2010
Kevin

In a sense we are called to make our own judgements… but more than that we are called to live our entire life devoted to God, rather than a series of unconnected wishes and actions when we are in need… and we are called to give – to him, to others – more than to receive, to offer our whole lives as a sacrifice rather than a rabbits foot every now and then. Yes, religion has a lot to answer for!

13 08 2010
Robbav

If as you say “Jesus asks for my WHOLE life and when we give it him it would be out of character…” then I’d say that was something to be VERY afraid of because who on earth gives him that? Isn’t that exactly the point with religious activity and bargining? Because we know that we don’t live up to what God (any god) requires we’re left with doing deals and things.
We need to move from an idea of God against us to God for us, move from God setting up masses of odd laws trying to trip us up to God giving us the best advice on how to live and allow us to make judgements and live with the consequences.

13 08 2010
Kevin

Excellent point Robbav – that is grace, that we cannot earn or live up to what we ‘should’ give, and yet, even yet, God is still for us. For us!

13 08 2010
Fran

And again Mumford scores a goal with these….

It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say ‘That’s exactly how this grace thing works’
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think
And yet it dominates the things I see (x2)

Stars hide your fires
For these here are my desires
And I won’t give them up to you this time around
And so I will be found
With my stake stuck in the ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul (x2)

And you, you’ve gone too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine

Lyrics that perhaps show a picture of the wrestle of giving up our whole to serve the one It is a high high price and yet crazily…..once done we get the whole world!

13 08 2010
Kevin

I’ve added the Mumford song to the blog as you rightfully point out it fits!

13 08 2010
Tweets that mention fearday the thirteenth « the blog of kevin -- Topsy.com

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin Lewis, Kevin Lewis. Kevin Lewis said: It's Fearday the 13th. Be afraid. Be very afraid. http://fb.me/xvKzEwCE [...]

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