“In Christ’s Name”

Let me start by apologizing for the fact that I haven’t updated this blog in well over a year. Truth is, I was really bad at updating it in the first place, and after a prolonged hiatus, I forgot the URL (wow, really?) and resigned that it would be lost in cyber-obscurity forever. As providence would have it, however, I the link was conveniently on my Facebook info page (go figure) and I just found out! So, in the tradition of those Lost/Found Parables that Jesus told: “Rejoice with me! For I have found my lost blog!”

I got to looking in the first place because I had my heart set on starting over–starting a new blog, and keeping it up with it this time. I suppose I’ll start over by picking up where I left off, and keeping up with it this time! I promise, I’ll be good!

I started this blog to begin with as an outlet for the overflow of musings, spiritual and otherwise, that usher from my mind. See, more often than not, in my solitary time I find myself engaged in hypothetical conversations over a variety of issues ranging touching on matters cultural, political, ecological and theological. Frequently, as may come to see, these themes overlap. I’m not sure if I am unique in this solitary habit of conversation and debate; consider it a way to process the daily flow of new information and insight that passes in and out of my consciousness. So this is one reason to get back on the horse, so to speak. But you and I both know that’s not the only reason to start (or continue) blogging. Any blogger knows the innate potential that the medium affords to captivate and influence untold masses.  The mere existence of this open-sourced, virtual soapbox could enable a nobody, a Joe Six-pack, if you will, to rise to cyber-stardom, even if only for the typical fifteen minutes. This is the very reason why many bloggers blog at all:  in order to make a name for themselves. I confess that this too, is part of my motivation.

For precisely this reason, I’ve chosen to establish this blog “In Christ’s name.” It’s a two-fold purpose, really:  first, it seems fitting to (re)initiate any endeavor through which matters of spiritual importance will be discussed in the name of Jesus, to whom I publicly confess my spiritual and political allegiance. It is “in Christ’s name,” after all, that we christians should strive to do all of our lives’ work. Secondly, in deciding to get back on the blog, I found the irony too much:  I do this thing, hoping to build a bit of a name for myself, while publicly confessing to live and labor for the name of Christ.  So that is the ironic, honest tension that I hope to at least recognize and introduce in this first post.

We 21st-century Americans find ourselves in a culture so inundated by self-promotion and celebrity idolization that it can sometimes almost disappear to our conscious minds.  We can become desensitized to this ethos, so dominant in our daily realities, in much the same way a person can slowly grow desensitized to the unsavory odor of pet urine after spending enough time in a house that reeks with it. This is what the cult of celebrity worship and shameless self-promotion does to us; we eventually grow so accustomed to it that it becomes the norm. We may even mistake the customized, virtual versions of the people we know for our actual friends, or worse; I may become blind to the ways that I intentionally customize the virtual version of myself to mask the real me, with all of my unique blemishes and brokenness.

I simply want to say here, at the outset, that I recognize and acknowledge my own capacity to distort the image of God within myself, and to mistake the images on Facebook, in the movies, and on TV, for the image of God in my friends and neighbors. I am guilty of this, and so I will own it. It is in the light of this observation, having been given sight in an area where I have been blind, that I give praise where praise is due, and elevate the name of Jesus above any name that I might hope to make for myself.

Honestly, I sound so pious I almost make myself sick; nevertheless, the sentiment is true.

Christ’s Peace (and some discomfort) be with you until next time!

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