Good Morning, God!
Sunday, in the 7:00 a.m. service at Central Union, Rev. Nancy Lockwood talked about the Lamed Vav. Lamed Vav means 36, and according to a very old (3,000+ years) Jewish story, these are the 36 Righteous People, because of whom, You are NOT destroying the rest of us. I have loved that story for years.
But, it wasn’t until this morning that I got an enlarged understanding of what it could mean for me. As a follower (very imperfectly) of Jesus, I have assumed that Jesus had done it all. I thought, Jesus, has replaced our need for the 36 righteous humans. Besides, righteous people — or at least the Ones Trying HARD to be righteous — are not terribly appealing people.
But, God, I think I had gotten the TIMING wrong. What if these humble righteous people — You MUST have a better definition of Righteous than we do — have to GROW into a righteous state? Since humility is key, and is obtained through failures, it would take TIME to become fully humble.
Gosh, God! What if it took a life-time of mistakes and failures — a life-time of learning to forgive ourselves and others — to become a fully humble and compassionate person? Aaah, THEN, after years of scraping ourselves up off the floor and pressing on toward YOUR LOVE — THEN we might possibly have grown and worn into being one of the 36.
I would be totally scared at being one of the 36 in the Old Story. But, somehow just the idea of THAT as the goal of living — creeping, stumbling and falling toward Humility and Compassion — that brings tears to my eyes. It is as if the Old Story and the New Story have merged in my mind. Jesus IS the ONE righteous person. But, YOU are calling/inviting/enabling us to grow toward becoming — maybe not one of a select World-Saving number — but far more than I had ever imagined.
Thank YOU, God, for giving me this wee glimpse of what the phrase “A NEW CREATURE in CHRIST” might mean.