The Hook


2001_433_158_O1 (1)If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace. – Martin Luther

I should not watch so much television.  Like, not two or three hours at a time.

I should not use television as a crutch.  Like, take laptop into the kitchen while I do the dishes.

I should not have to listen to podcasts to fall asleep.  I should leave the big open quiet space to fall asleep in.

Today is the feast of Martin Luther.  Luther fought so hard to get people off the hook, to insist that God loved people and wanted them without any cause, and he simultaneously put other people firmly on the hook: himself, and people who were Jewish.  All his life he struggled to believe God could actually love and forgive him.  And one of his works, famous even among the ample literature of anti-Semitism for its venom, was entitled, “On the Jews and their Lies.”

Does someone always have to be beaten?  Christianity tries to get past that, in many ways moves past the idea of a scapegoat, in its more mystical theologies.  It wasn’t that Jesus had to die, it was that everything dies, and the way people believed that life was still real, and encouragement and mercy were still real, even after their hero died, that was resurrection.

Letting shit go.  Letting you be yourself, no matter how much of a mess that might be.  Not yourself after a long walk or paying the bills.  Letting things go hopefully.  Maybe if you let things go it would be all right.

For Lent I am giving up nothing, but trying regularly to let myself off the hook.  To find comfort where it is safe and petty, and be satisfied with my weakness.  To do some of the 30 days of yoga series I found and liked online, but also be completely fine with not doing them all, not doing them every day, and maybe dropping it entirely if it starts to feel wrong.

For Lent to let it be winter, it is, and to be aware of, but not grabby about, spring.  A true grace.

Image: Hook, bronze, 500 BC-300 AD, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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