Armodoxy for Today
Several years ago, I was interviewed by one of the local newspapers here in the Southland. One of the questions they asked me was, given the chance to have lunch with anyone, historic or contemporary, dead or alive, who would I choose?
These types of questions come with some expectations, especially of the clergy. The obvious historical character for clergy is Jesus Christ. Even in secular circles, among non-religious people, the influence of Jesus and Christianity on human history and thought is undeniably tremendous. And so, in a sense, it’s a loaded question when asking a clergy person to pick out a person, from all of time, with whom to spend the lunch hour.
I disappointed the interviewer, and perhaps you, the reader or listener, not because I didn’t want to take the bait but because there’s nothing more that needs to be asked of Christ. At the Crucifixion, Jesus is recorded as saying, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) He had come to the world as a gift from God as the ultimate expression of love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) It is finished. He has given us everything we need to know, everything that is necessary to make “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” He has given us nothing less than what is necessary to enjoy life, live it abundantly.
Part of the joy of life is the wonder, the mystery, the search and discovery for ourselves. Jesus has given us the Truth, which applies across generations and civilizations. As Christians, we all come with our own set of circumstances and are touched by the Truth. We search, make mistakes, mark accomplishments, wonder, marvel, cry, laugh and in the end, we live. It is the process of that gives life meaning. Our prayer is for the wisdom, to live in harmony with all that is around us. St. Nersess’ prayer is, “Jesus, [you are] the wisdom of the Father, grant me your wisdom that I may speak, think and do that which is good in your sight. Save me from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Amen.
And, who would I have liked to have lunch with, dead or alive, historic or contemporary? Well, my father, of course. We lost him at an early age. I would love to see him one more time, share with him the wonders of life, the magic, the music, laughs and sorrows that I have discovered… and perhaps compare notes.