. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

                                                 1     2   3     4     5     6     7     8     9     TOTAL

REALISTS   2 0 1 4 2 1 0 6 2   0

IDEALlSTS  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1


Red Sox fans and the very few Yankee fans in ILC will at least recognize the usual -- nine innings of a game, but the rest of this scoreboard doesn't add up - literally. The team names, maybe, but how do the Holden Idealists manage to win when the scoreboard clearly shows that they were losing 18 - 0 to the powerful Yankee-type line up of the Holden Realists? No, I don't recall where this scoreboard came from but I do recall that it got me thinking of Don Quixote who may be familiar to you from Cervantes' famous novel or more likely from the song To Dream the Impossible Dream. Don Quixote is a strange idealist. Simply put, he doesn't like the way the world really is so he tries to deal with it as he thinks it could and should be. Eventually near death he awakes from his fantasy world and apologizes for whatever harm he has caused. That's a bit of a sad ending, don't you think?

The world the way it really is. Does God in Christ seek to reconcile us to that world? IF! a way yes, there is a lot of good in it, but maybe He is concerned that we begin from there and start to deal with the world as he would more fully and ideally like it to be.

Yes, we are talking about the Kingdom of God being at hand in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Kingdom has come upon us in Him - it is already happening in the real world; but such a reality and such a hope as God's Kingdom won't come easily. There will be times when a scoreboard of life and history looks a lot like the one above, but remember, for example, Ettie Hillesum and the Holocaust. Yes, she died as one of millions of Jews (just as Jesus had done) but lives again in the testimony of her diary to God's reality. Did Rome win in Jesus's time? It seems that they did, but not even Rome was left " untouched by God's resurrection of Jesus - nor or we. This world is finally God's reality, full of God's ideals. That is the kind of realism we need. If we do not share in it we lose regardless of the score in the real world.

Submitted by Don Gustafson