Misleaders claim that your cherished American liberty is about your freedom to do what you want where you want when you want without, as they love to say, government interference. Freedom from interference, freedom to buy stuff. This superficial promise of freedom from interference has always been dangled before “the mass of men, leading lives of quiet desperation” (Thoreau) to distract them from their inner crisis and their social crisis.
“There was once, in a far-away country where few people have ever traveled, a wonderful church. It stood on a high hill in the midst of a great city; and every Sunday, as well as on sacred days like Christmas, thousands of people climbed the hill to its great archways . . . ” — a story written by Raymond MacDonald Alden
It is still night now, which bears some advantage, for you can see some things better in the dark: stars, for example, and prayers. What is the dark? Shall we say? Shall we pray?
With the Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick, the founding minister of The Riverside Church, I hold– as I imagine, many of you do–that the teaching that Jesus was literally born of a virgin is not an essential of Christian faith. Faith can thrive in the presence of the hunch that “virgin Mary mother mild” is a myth.
If we pull the camera lens way back on the Bible stories, so that all of them fit in one big picture, the way all of Planet Earth finally fit in the lens of a moonwalker’s camera many decades ago; if we pull so far back that the particular stories seem like Italies and Indias did to the spacemen, yet so clearly part of something bigger, what is that bigger thing, bigger than any single story, bigger even than all of them together, yet present and full in every single one of them?