In the Lectionary

June 18, Ordinary 11A (Genesis 18:1–15)

The prankster is God, through whom all things are possible.

I once daydreamed about God having a problem. In my imagination, God’s problem was not the devil or sin. God had effectively addressed both these problems at Calvary. The divine problem, suggested the dream, was instead religion.

The problem with religion was layered. First, religion typically created a vast chasm between God and humanity. God tended to be distant and remote. Second, religion had its picks and chooses, often presenting God, if accessible at all, only to the truly holy: the righteous few who believed and behaved as such. Finally, religion had a way of turning belief into something awfully burdensome, making faith feel far too heavy.

The last layer was what bothered God the most. When I asked why this was so, God answered immediately and clearly: “Even if you accept that I am near and welcoming of all, if your experience with me feels overbearing, I may as well be removed and reachable only to a faithful few.”