Your Blog Steward

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care reform, theology and a little Latin

One of the first Latin words I learned was "Salve!" (It used for "hello," or "Hail", but it means "to your health or well-being" or something like that). Later I discovered that Christians used the word to talk about what God did in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, the word we call "salvation." What I took from this lesson in linguistics is that our early Christian theologians had no trouble connecting health and well-being with eternal life and its gifts...in other words, Jesus Christ is all about good health...

So today the internet on this side of the world is all abuzz about "health care reform" as if something that has never happened before now will magically appear before our eyes...really? In the Gospel of Luke, one of the four stories about Jesus as the Son of God, all we get is health care reform. In fact, in Luke, Jesus IS health care reform...(there is one story in that gospel about a woman who "spent all she had" to try and get better, but all she got was sicker and poorer. And Jesus is the one who heals her.) Christians have been in the health care reform business for a couple of thousand years...it's nice to see the rest of you join us in this adventure...

Here's the thing about health care reform: it's not going to stop you from dying...it shouldn't stop you from living...As a Christian your goal, in the famous words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is to "come and die" in following Christ, and you can't really do that if you spend all your time going to medical facilities trying to avoid that...one of my colleagues always marveled that somehow people believe you have to get to heaven in good health...but in order to get there, you have to die...so what--exactly--is health good for?

Health care reform may cost some people some more money(but in irony of ironies no one seems to have as much of that as they want), and it may give some people access to a longer life who may not have had the opportunity. But it will never stop us from dying...and it will never stop us from loving our neighbor...and in my world-- the faster we learn those lessons about dying and loving...well, the healthier we all will be.