The Third Day of Christmas: Kiss Your Certainty Goodbye

Martin Luther’s father planned for him to become a lawyer. If Martin had been born 1500 years earlier, he’d have had little choice. Born in Christendom, Martin had another option: he took orders and became an Augustinian friar. Many saints’ stories begin similarly, with a teenager avoiding an odious arranged marriage by becoming a monk or nun instead. 

In the old world, any member of your village could predict with reasonable accuracy your trade, where you would live, which family your spouse would come from. It was a world where you could plan your kids’ lives before they were ever born. Through the story of Jesus (who was supposed to be a construction worker, whose followers were supposed to be fishermen, tax collectors, etc.,) another possibility was forever burned into the consciousness of the world: God might have business with your kid. 

The church instantiated that new consciousness first in the desert hermit tradition, then in organized orders, then in blessing all lawful work, but across the centuries, the message is the same: your complacent certainty of who you are, of your role in the world, is an illusion. God might at any time call you in a different direction.


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