Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ta' (How the English say Thanks)

"The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life in a noneucharistic world." - Alexander Schmemann.

Melissa has to be gloating because I'm finally reading Ann Voskamp. In fact she pulled the old "If you love me..." on this author. She really, really likes Ann Voskamp. So much so in fact, that she even reads her blog way more than she reads mine (Can you imagine? No jealousy here). But I'm glad (personal angst withstanding), for I see this author's words transforming Melissa. It's beautiful.

So I've picked up her book "One Thousand Gifts." Or rather, with Melissa being a walking info-mercial for Ann Voskamp, I've had her book quoted to me, seductively waved infront of me and slipped into my hands with $20 bills.

Well, now that I'm finally getting over myself, I'm reading her and already in the first 35 pages I'm a wool-being-dutifully-dyed (Why? Because wool has to be dyed for these occasions) Ann Voskamp groupie.

In her book she gets to the question we all wrestle with as believers. It's the question that reverberates around the chambers of our hearts. I find the question searingly painful, but I know I have to face it. So here it is: "How does one live ready, and always?" How do we live ready for Christ's coming kingdom?

I find this question haunting me day and night. Like the virgins waiting for their groom with lamp-thingies, I am always fussing over my lamp, wondering if it will burn bright for my master when he comes, and begging the other virgins for kerosine in this appliance-forsaken ancient near-eastern parable I find myself stuck in. My dress and lipstick look good, it's just this dang lamp I'm worried about.

Or to look at it another way, I've heard over, over, yes and over, that you are either whole-heartedly sold-out for God, or not at all. I dissagree. When I hear this statement I picture myself casually swinging my atrophied legs, sitting on the fence between the world and God. The thought makes me shift uneasily, or perhaps it's just to move my bruised buns on the uncomfortable fence posts.

I want to be ready, but I know I'm not, I think...

Before you reach 36 pages in Voskamp's book, she offers a glimpse of the answer. As all good answers are it's both simple and difficult. It's to live a life of thanks (sorry for ruining the book, now you can get back to reading my blog more. (Evil)Ha, ha, haaaaa-cough-ha!), a life of Eucharisteo which means "He gave thanks." It's to live a life that Christ modeled at the Lord's supper, when he gave thanks over the symbols of that represented his body about to be broken and his blood about to be spilled. Think on this.

I think Voskamp is on to something. I hope whatever it is it spills into my life as it has into Melissa's. For since ingratitude initiated the fall, Christ's thanksgiving reversed it. Maybe, as we begin to be grateful in all things, and let Christ's life love of grace (the root of Eucharist being Charis, which means "grace") live in us, we'll be ready. May we be ready Lord.

Oh, and thanks!

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