Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homily 32: Solitary Confinement (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! [...] Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore, she has become a wanderer." Lam. 1:1a, 8a

There is something isolating and destabilizing about sin. At bottom, it is attempted independence from God, attempting to set up your own will as central and dominate. Such an action has only one result: not independence from God (for every breath you take belies your dependence), but rather independence from all else. To be the god of your own universe is to be alone. When all else and everyone else live to serve your ends and means, they all become dust in your mouth and shadows to your eyes. The Fall infected us with a perpetual madness that tells us that rebellion against God brings freedom. It does not. It only brings a cage whose iron bars cut us off from the land of the living. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), for sin steals all life, leaving you alone in the deathly void. Furthermore, the more you rebel, the more you actually begin to enjoy the cold silence of your self-erected dungeon, and soon its doors will be locked from the inside rather than the out.

God is the only God, and Jesus is the only Lord. That is not an arbitrary truth or assignment; it is the very way that the universe is made (Ps. 24:1-2; Col. 1:15-17). To submit to that great order is not weakness or impotence. It is the only way to find your strength, your song, your place in the Dance; for all that truly lives dances to the love song of God's will, by which the stars sing and worlds whirl. Those who refuse to partake in the triumph song of Life fancy themselves strong, but they are weak and dying. They are poor, miserable, and blind. They have not the strength of God's joy nor the power of His life, and all that they can do is sit in the dark by themselves and sneer.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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