We were driving past our church recently and noticed that a new saying had been posted: "Become an organ donor - give your heart to Jesus."
I always find cutesy sayings like that ridiculous, as does everyone in our family. I much prefer the bland: "Worship services at 8:15 and 10:00 am Sundays. Please join us." This particular one was worthy of disdain too, so I responded,
"Tell ya what. I'll give him my heart if he gives me his rectum."
Well that got the whole car laughing, especially in light of my surgery last year. But it led to further discussion about how we perceive faith healing, especially the stuff you see on television. It seems that faith healing is as American as apple pie, the flag, football, and country music. It's the spectacle that matters, not the content.
What I don't understand is how otherwise smart people can be so gullible when it comes to the faith of our fathers. Why, for instance, is it that Jesus is so good at helping people find an empty parking spot at the mall, or dropping their crutches while on stage at a faith healing crusade, but apparently so miserly when it comes to healing serious injuries, replacing body parts removed during surgery, or growing missing limbs? Seems that the creator of the universe shouldn't have more difficulty with one than the other.
I am not saying faith is unimportant. I am not debating the value of prayer, especially for those in need of a healing human touch. I am not saying mystery and awe are to be pushed away in favour of statistical tables. But I am saying that far too much in North American religion is trivial, trite, and worthy of sarcasm.