Hope Brooklyn; What's Our Reputation? Part II
Read this excerpt of GK Chesterton from his autobiographical work, Orthodoxy. These are the very last sentences in his book, in which throughout the work he details his conversion to the Christian faith. It is quite appropriate, then, that the last topic of his thought would be Jesus.
[Disclaimer: I have made minor edits to interpret this 20th ce work into 21st ce language, as well as italicized certain words that I found particularly poignant.]
“And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure of Jesus which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city, Jerusalem. Yet He concealed something. The strong and the powerful are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.”
What is Chesterton imagining?
That at the very heart of what it means to be the Triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, is a deep, deep, infinite wellspring of joy. Of Delight. Of Fun.
That in all those instances when Jesus retreated upon a mountainside to pray alone, that he arrived in the shade of the trees, and no sooner had he closed his eyes and the Father and the Spirit made their presence known, that all three, that is the One God, broke out into spontaneous laughter!
This is what it means to be like God. To be like Christ.
This is what it means to be the Church.
To possess a deep, deep, infinite and eternal wellspring of joy.
Jesus, let Hope Brooklyn be such a people.