I have been away from the blog for about two months as crazy summer scheduling took hold. A few things built up in the “things I am thinking about” file so today’s posting is like brain gumbo.
I just heard that Michael Clark Duncan passed away today. I loved that guy. If the name does not ring a bell, Duncan is the 6’5″ 300 lb. giant of a man best known for playing the part of John Coffey in The Green Mile. This summer our family spent some time in Blowing Rock, NC and made two trips by the Moses Cone Mansion where a couple of scenes for the movie were shot. I have always loved that movie. Coffey was a giant who could have been angry at his unjust treatment, and was strong enough to crush any foe, but instead used his remarkable gifts to heal and protect. As with many of Stephen King’s novels (The Green Mile is a King adaptation) there are quite a few religious undertones. The parallels with Jesus’ love and compassion on humanity are pretty obvious when you view the movie, whether they were intended or not. Duncan was only 54, I hope his family knows God’s peace tonight.
The Olympics have come and gone since my last post. It is always curious to see how obscure, unknown athletes handle being thrust into the spotlight after Olympic success. This year’s Olympics found several athlete’s ready to focus the glory on God. Lolo Jones who spoke openly of her faith, was busy tweeting thanks to God for getting her to London and she told people, “I never have prayed to win a gold medal at Olympics and never will. The Lord is my Shepard and I shall not want. May His will be done.” Great track athlete Ryan Clark tweeted, “God first. Family second. Track Third.” Finally, Soccer champ, Lauren Cheney tweeting, “Our God is great- He deserves greatness!” When we are in the spotlight, what a great time to point every finger and every word toward God! Then it becomes crucial that we come home and live that or else all the tweets in the world mean nothing.
I can’t wait for this election season to be over. I think Christians have the obligation to be good, informed citizens and we always ought to vote. I was a Political Science major and used to really get into these things, but mostly for the wrong reasons. As a pastor there were times when I thought that maybe a particular party or candidate would actually make life easier or better for the advance of the Gospel. I came to learn how dangerous and misguided it is for the church to let itself think that way. We cannot “farm out” our responsibility to secular institutions like political parties or governmental institutions. Besides, Jesus made it clear these entities ultimately exist to gain and utilize power over people, not to redeem them. So now I vote, and I wait anxiously for the end of the election season, with its endless ridiculous attack ads, silly posturing and mindless arguments. Personally, I think I would vote for Bugs Bunny right now if he could find a way to help get the price of gasoline closer to $3 a gallon than the $4. But that’s just me.
You Shall know the truth,