Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sometimes helping or saving someone else needs to cost you something, and it gets personal (from a Sunday sermon)

Today, Sunday, September 29, 2013, at the Trinity Presbyterian Church of Arlington, VA, Rev. Judith Fulp-Eickstaedt spoke about “What is salvation? What is eternal life?”   I’m not noting this to proselytize, but to record something startling, and maybe appropriate given all the political rancor right now across the Potomac.   “You will never know how much life means until you save another’s life and it costs you something.”  She went on to mention the idea of befriending or supporting unpopular people.
  

I had actually seen a short film Saturday (“Premier Neige”) about a family squabbling over who would give a dying dad a needed kidney when all were matched (see Movies Blog, Sept. 28).  That’s one area, physical courage and sacrifice, and there is more opportunity for that today than there used to be because of medical advances.  But the comment seemed to have a more general meaning.  “Saving a life” might include giving support or meaning to another’s life, when the engagement with that person is not exactly a consequence of “The Axiom of Choice.”  In an individualistic society, we learn about “personal responsibility”, the right to consent or not to consent, and “minding your own business”.  It seems as though “eternal life”, in the context of her message, means transcending all of these normal guidelines and precepts, because, after, life can never be exactly “fair”.  And it all can get very personal. 

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