Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


“Nobody goes to that restaurant because it’s always slammed.” Or, “Don't go near the water until you know how to swim.” These are paradoxes.

Also paradoxical: “Whoever tries to preserve their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life will preserve it (Lk 17:33).”

Jesus wants to make sure that it didn’t go in one ear and out the other. Here, several miles down the road: “You will be betrayed...and they will put some of you to death... But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls (Lk 21:16-19).”

I’m not comparing RVA 2016 to 1st century Judea. Real people lost precious things when, toward the end of the Jewish Revolt, Titus’ soldiers burned the temple. Luke’s community struggled in and with the catastrophic aftermath.  The comparison I do want to make has to do with paradox. I’m adding long- distance running to the paradox pile. Blest are you who run 26.2 miles. Though you have lost your mind, surely you have gained...

Gained what? I suppose we could ask Kylee Ponder or Matt Hannay. It can be hard, however, to articulate what makes a given experience meaningful. When we are in touch with the fact that what we are up appears nonsensical, we keep our reasoning, our inspiration, to ourselves.

So I propose this paradox upon paradox: Get out there and cheer for somebody. Search high and low for the cowbell. [More is more.] Solicit high fives from strangers. Make a sign. With a smile or with whatever you can muster, let them know that you see them out there gaining (v.13).

Why would you add to the foolishness of it all? Because, says the Spirit, it makes us more alive.

Kylee, Matt, the other Matt, Lindsey, Carolyn, Christine, you who have graced Boulevard with your presence and I am failing to mention, take hold of that which the world may not understand and most certainly cannot take away. Run for your lives. God loves you. We do too.

UncategorizedRachel May