I want to believe the Gospel. A prayer.

I just want to believe the Gospel.
Sometimes I get so moved,
emotionally,
when I sing about Jesus

that I wonder if I’m hysterical.
i.
I know that I am in conflict
with the Zeitgeist of the day:

Give us just the facts, ma’am,
give us just the cold, hard facts, ma’am,
with none of your subjectivity,
none of your experience.

(Well, ma’am, maybe you can have those experiences
as long as they don’t imply consequences for me,
and how I live my life,
and my liberated, libertarian, atomized autonomy.)

I cannot do those things.
I just want to believe the Gospel.
ii.
I know that I am in conflict
with the Zeitgeist of the Day:
Give us a God of Love,
a God of Love who
never makes judgments,
never makes demands,
never transforms beyond my small expectations,
never gives me anything but safety and confirmation,
never gives a Name.

(And if God does give a Name–
the man and messiah Jesus, say–
mention it as little as possible,
and relativize it only to your own experience
so that I do not have to
do the hard work
of unpacking my religious baggage and sorting it
into useful and harmful, true and false;
of disciplining myself to sit at His feet, listening for the Revolution;
of learning the Love that makes the guest.)

I cannot do these things.
I just want to believe the Gospel.

O Beautiful Jesus:
Have mercy while I sing about You.

 

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