Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

It is hard for Christians to write of much else but Christ on Good Friday. I may not understand physics very well, but my level of understanding of an infinite God willing to die for a sinful me makes my physics skill seem PHD-level by comparison.

Being raised a Baptist, I never got to attend worship services, especially on Good Friday. There were a lot of alter call services, but we were just too busy for the worship part. Now days my two favorite services of the church year both involve candles, which likely means that I’m something of a pyro, or maybe I’m just really recognizing that burning is what I deserve.

The candlelight Christmas Eve service is the first, because it is complete love, joy, and the kind of happiness that makes you tear up even if you are trying not to. The second is the Good Friday Tenabrae service, because it is dark, somber, long, final, and gives you a lot of chance to think … but you still get a candle at the end. I think life can be like that. God might give us one last chance to "see the light" at the very end -- if we are not absolutely his enemies by that point, we can still be saved. I'm not interested in taking that risk, however it gives me some comfort when these I love reject Christ. 

Sitting in the darkened Church, trying not to think of anything but Christ and my need for him, but failing as I usually do, I stare at the single candle remaining and think that we are pretty much like a set of kids out in the barn with some matches, seeing what happens. Among the “fires” that we have are life, consciousness, and technology. We have very little understanding of either life or consciousness, and WAY too much faith in technology. 

The spark of life passes through us in much the same way that early man found and worked with fire, but couldn’t create it, and didn’t understand it. Even less do we understand consciousness. Our technologies vary from the simple, a lighted candle, to the fairly sophisticated; the chips in this computer, the operating system, the internet. Some of us THINK that we have more understanding there, and we certainly do in the sense that we can generally reproduce results, but since the technology arises from two parts of ourselves that we have very little clue on … life and consciousness, it seems that humility is in order even there. 

Our house of knowledge is built on a foundation we do not understand, but rather believe.

The scientist has faith that the universe is built on timeless repeatable principles that we are able to discern across time and space. The Christian believes that the universe is made that way by God, and we are made by God to understand it. The Atheist has the most faith of all ... that everything came to pass randomly without meaning and purpose. 

One day, all of our little personal fires will go out. A few more ticks of the clock relative to eternity and the "fire" of the universe will go out as well. Human knowledge and technology will be fully extinguished then.

I’ll say my prayers tonight that I get to see the light at my ending, for the faith to keep praying, and for the continued hope to understand it all when I see God. 

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