Saturday, August 18, 2007


I've just been reading Soren Kierkegaard in the original (I think you have to cross out the 'o' in Soren). No, I joke. I know very little about Danish. Apple or blueberry danish – yes! Princess Mary of Tasmania – yes! I wasn't even reading Kierkegaard in translation. What I was reading was some statements attributed to him. This one struck a chord with me, probably expressing what lots of people throughout the centuries have thought:
“It is so heartbreaking that Christ, who is the teacher of love, is betrayed – with a kiss.”
Got me thinking about love and naturally that Corinthian passage came to mind. (Check it for yourself in 1 Cor. 13). But love is not that sloppy, sentimental stuff often dished up at weddings in response to Paul's words here. Paul wasn't into sloppy, sentimental. No, love is a complex, difficult thing. It is not 'the noisy gong' who says he loves and then does nothing about it. Love is activity and not simply a passive emotion. Love is care for others. It is accepting responsibility where others might fail. It is respect for others. It is understanding. Unconditional.
The hard part in all of this is putting others before self.(After all, isn't “sin” placing self as the centre of all one's actions?) It can mean giving up self-indulgences, playing the pokies, smoking, to provide the essentials for one's children. In love we must show discipline, but also courage, humility and faith.
The twist in that Judas, Jesus and the kiss episode is that Christ's love had the last say. Love is sacrifice. “For God so loved the world......”.

Photo shows one of numerous exhibits in the ivory museum in the German town of Erbach, which built a reputation for ivory carving two centuries ago. Interesting place, Erbach.

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