Thursday, June 29, 2017

How did he become the person to tell the whole community what to name their children?

It all started with that one editorial in the local newspaper. The editor wrote about the current fad in naming children. He probably was right that over half the popular names started with the letter J (Jason, Jared, Jennifer, and so on). I only read to the end because I figured he was bound to ridicule me too. My children’s names are Leif Eric, Cedric Arthur, and Haans Jorgen. Common Italian names that don’t stand out. The editor was not married and had no children.
How did he become the person to tell the whole community what to name our children?
Starting from there, I began to notice that in many different contexts and applications, this same social phenomenon recurs. There are people who ridicule and judge others in an area that, after you have been ridiculed long enough, one day you wake up and say, “Hey, who is he to be telling everyone?”
Lutherans have gotten to be as good at this as anyone. We have many pastors now who put down others for being mean or unloving or not very good at getting along with others. After you hang around and watch some good people take a beating from these folks for quite awhile, all of a sudden one day you wake up and say, “Hey, why are so many divorced pastors telling others how bad they are at relationships?”
And if you ask, the answers you get sound almost like they are saying, we are qualified because of our divorces. We have learned from them, and now we know what grace really is and how your marriage can be as great as our new marriages. As if our 40 and 50 year happy marriages were graceless chopped liver. As if staying taught us less than their leaving did.
Yeah, I am just not too sure that everything called grace really is.