Walking through the Old Testament is an arduous job. That Testament is filled with faithlessness, conflict, betrayal, war, and murder… all too much like the present age.

I was called to Christ by receiving, not from human lips or paper, a promise that I was loved. This world is so harsh and antihuman that we must believe that our home is in a place of love. Only in this way can we avoid despairing, and so being tempted to join this world’s destructiveness and bottomless lust for more and always more.

In this way, one can tell the true Christian from the false: for the true Christian, doing good is not entirely optional. It is as if one is caught in a blizzard. In the very center of it is a warm spot, but elsewhere, it is painfully cold. And the spot keeps moving. So, either one stays up with it, or the chill reminds one of one’s dereliction.

Just so, let us not linger in the chill of the Old Testament, but take a holiday into the warmer gospels.

Now, the New Testament is a difficult teaching as well. The cross is our body, and we are nailed to it. Those who heal a society, its peacemakers and its teachers, are routinely mocked and persecuted. The official church is filled with self-righteous Pharisees and conniving Sadducees. Outside the church are righteous people, like the Centurion who felt compassion and the Syrophoenicean woman who taught Jesus true humility. Many of these don’t call themselves Christians, but since they have accepted Love as their teacher, no army of angels could keep them away from His mansions.

And so I hesitated where to go for this holiday.

Paul is too complicated for a weary traveler.

Revelation? Fahgeddaboutit.

Matthew and Luke make for a difficult entry, of researching dozens of obscure names for the basically unimportant issue of Joseph’s lineage.

John is beautiful, very poetic, but outside of the basic tradition. One is always wondering whether John is talking about the same Jesus as the Synoptic gospels.

And so, I chose Mark for my repose.

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