Extreme Makeover (or Look What That Dove Did to Me)

tardpopedove

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)

Religion is easy to make.  Start with the fear of ending up worm food six feet under, mix in a generous dose of guilt for being a general schmuck, add a healthy dollop of “Gee, aren’t those stars pretty,” sprinkle a few rules for civic survival, stir in the need for Somebody on the other end of the line, simmer over medium angst, then broil under divine threat until golden brown.  Serve with grape juice.

Christianity, on the other hand, is a dish only crazy people can make.  Unlike other religions, which take a reasonable approach by insisting we human dweebs either grovel before The Pissed Off One or perform amazing feats of inner spiritual contortions on the yellow brick road to enlightenment, Christianity is plain off the chart wacko.  Not only do we believe that the infinite supreme being who fills the entire universe actually likes us, but that he even wants to hang out with us.  (Some of us, having other business to attend to, prefer to hold his visiting hours to a manageable tête-à-tête on Sunday mornings.)  But even this isn’t the craziest part.

The thing that makes Christianity over-the-edge non compos mentis is the claim that the thunder banger of Mt. Sinai, that rockin storm-stiller of Galilee, the numero uno disco inferno death killer has freaking moved in!  We’re not talking some brick and mortar temple in the burbs, baby.  God—the God—has taken up residence in us.  Holy shack, Batman!

Now it wouldn’t be so weird if most of us had our acts together.  At least we could pretend that God made a good move.  But the bald-faced truth of the matter is that we are complete and total pinheads.  It’s like the Beverley Hillbillies in reverse: God’s in a mansion, gives his fortune away, and moves to a dog-dung cabin in a Kentucky holler without running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, or internet connection.  And he likes it there.  I can hear the theme song now:  [cue the banjo]  Come and listen to a story ’bout a God-claimed shed.

Talk about your transitional neighborhood.

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