Three weeks ago I discovered the digital comic strip of artist Yao Xiao. A China-born illustrator now based in New York City, Yao Xiao’s artwork delves into human emotions, identity, and friendships. Her lesson in a particular comic strip, Baopu #15, touched me deeply as she highlighted the tendency some of us have to say “I’m sorry” when what we really mean to
say is “Thank you.”
Some of the examples include :
- If you want to say “Thank you for understanding me,” don’t say “Sorry I’m not making a lot of sense.
- If you want to say “Thank you for listening,” don’t say “Sorry I’m just rambling.”
The final thought stood out to me. “Don’t apologize for simply existing. Because it is not wrong.” Continue reading
Romans is Paul’s longest letter. He has a LOT to tell the church in Rome. Either they have a lot of questions or he has heard a lot of, shall we say, interesting versions of theology coming from the community. Whatever it is he has a lot to say to them.
Some of the things he says are the basics, spelled out simply, but also beautifully. We heard last week, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” (5:8) Other things, like the things we will hear today are teachings that take it to the next level.
I imagine this week’s reading as a sort of answer to an unspoken question – – only I imagine it spoken. I have heard it spoken – in conversations with confirmation students year after year, in Bible studies with women around that library table back there, in coffee shops and airplane seats when someone with some bones to pick with the church finds out what it is I do. The question is this, see if you’ve ever asked it, “So if Jesus goes to such great lengths to save us, if God loves us so much that God’s going to forgive any sin we have anyway, why not just keep on living the fun life? Why bother to be good anyway? We’ll get forgiveness for our sins anyway, won’t we?” Continue reading