Monday, February 6, 2012

Swift to Love

Jonathan Swift was an 18th century writer whose most famous work is the novel, Gulliver's Travels. He also happened to be a member of the clergy and he said, “We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love.”

To say the least, it is disheartening to hear these words. But, it is truly maddening to know that these words, more often than not, reflect the truth. Sectarian discord throughout the globe litters the front pages of our newspapers. All too often misguided political gains are promoted in the name of religion. Many people blame religion and not the political forces that are really in control and so it’s no wonder they choose to abandon religion all together.

People can claim all they want, that they are “spiritual, but not religious.” As if that were even possible. People of the Judean-Christian traditions are called into community. We are called to get along with one another. We are called to put aside politics and personal gain in the name of peace. We are called to have enough religion that will make us love.

The growth, in recent years, of non-believing zealots, whose rhetoric and creedal statements verge on being anti-Christian, maybe an opportunity for us to re-evaluate whether we expect enough of ourselves.

Do we expect enough love of ourselves?

Now I’m going to let all of you off of the hook on this one. I wouldn’t dare to ask that question of anyone but myself. And it shouldn’t shock anyone that I failed myself. I need to pile more religion into me until I am, like Jesus, swift to love.

That’s the criteria that matters. That’s true worship – loving others as God loves us.

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