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The 99 and the One

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Merry Christmas! ChristmasTree-12252013

Over the course of 2013 I’ve voiced criticisms and critiques of religion and Christianity, trying to sort culture from subculture and truth from fiction. Eisegesis vs. exegesis. Questioning which texts I privilege and why. Such unwinding and rewinding seems like waking up to the world around me. I’m mostly happy with the process. But it is also unsettling.

One enduring piece of this—one mystery that pulls me in again and again—is the birthday we celebrate today.

It is always dangerous to reduce this to that, so without reducing, I’ll simply point to this small story and say I like how it sets the mystery front and center:

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Some will ask “What is astray?” Others: “What is perish?” Some will say, “Why ‘Father?’” All reasonable questions and of a piece with how we process the world today. But this notion that God wants relationship with people is mysterious and, for me, quite compelling.

I suspect 2014 will be even more full of mystery.

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Image credit: Dumb Sketch by Kirkistan

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Written by kirkistan

December 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

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