Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Prayers are tools 
not for doing or getting 
but for being and becoming.

Eugene Peterson

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Author, Alex Renton, an English journalist, wrote that his six-year-old daughter came home from school one afternoon with an assignment.  She had to write a letter to God.

The little girl sat down and wrote,

"To God – How did you get invented? From Lulu"

The project expected the parents to answer the letter.  Poor Alex could not write the response. You see, he is a devout atheist. Neither could his wife. So instead of making something up, he asked the
experts. He sent his daughter's letter to the local pastor and then thought – what the heck – and sent it even to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The local pastor wrote back: "My reply would be along the
lines of - 'God is like us, he wasn't invented, but unlike us, he has always been there. God is like someone we've always loved, we don't remember when he came into our lives because like the people we love who have been there all our lives it's as if we can't imagine what it would be like without him.'" That wasn’t bad but maybe a little heavy for a six-year-old to read.

Then much to Alex’s surprise, the Archbishop himself wrote a beautiful response. It is a touching example of how a Bishop can humble himself and take the time to write a letter in response to a little girl's quest for truth and make a bit impact. Here is his response. Lulu, your dad, has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It's a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this:

"Dear Lulu - Nobody invented me, but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised.  They discovered me when they looked around at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn't expected. Then they invented ideas about me, some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some
hints, especially in the life of Jesus, to help them get closer to what I'm really like. But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!  And then he would send you lots of love and sign off. I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I must do the best I can on his behalf.  Lots of love from me too. Archbishop Rowan

The letter not only moved Alex's young daughter, Lulu, it also moved him to see God differently it tore down some of his walls. He was impressed with the Archbishop's kindness and wisdom. That’s how God works. He appears to us most often through other people. God does not write letters but the Archbishop was doing what he was supposed to do, he spoke in God's name just like the apostles he bore witness and gave testimony, testimony that is shockingly good news!

The Apostles were terrified and startled beyond their imaginations that day when they experienced the risen Lord.  And Alex like them was shocked and move beyond his wildest dreams when experienced God’s love through the kindness of the archbishop. When we experience it the love of God can be shocking and surprising!

At the end of each Mass, we are given the same instructions as the apostles received that night we too are told by Jesus to go out and be his witnesses to the world just like that good archbishop. We say: “Go in Peace, Glorifying the Lord by Your Life” All of us are called to witness to the resurrection and the love of God. That’s the deal with our faith.

Why us? Why in the world did the Lord choose men and women like us to help him?  The answer to that is shown in the good bishop’s letter, the answer is: Because we can love! The world is a different world today because Jesus’ love changed us like it changed Lulu’s dad and like it changed the apostles that day. Jesus says to us today: "You are witnesses of these things." Go out and spread love spread the Good News.