Rich Paxson

I wrote about rules, and humor, and faithful iteration in my last post. My entire career as an IRS Revenue Agent was about rules, about rule interpretation, and about who gets the final word on a revenue ruling’s meaning in particular circumstances.

When I think of ‘rules of devotion’ for personal faith, I know they are different from Church rules. Faithfully reading the Daily Office, for example, is a personal commitment to accept the gift of faith. Rubrics, or rules, in the Book of Common Prayer, on the other hand, reflect the practice of public worship in a Church service, which is about as far as many people get on their faith journeys. I don’t mean those of us here at Forgiving Victim, but individuals who come to Jesus only periodically, or by chance. Remember the Samarian woman who long-ago met Jesus by chance at the well where He not only reiterated her life history but also offered her “living water … gushing up to eternal life.” God’s gift of faith is not exclusively for those who follow the rules.

Faithful iteration is about chance and hope and standards and devotion. Like the Samaritan woman, we come again and again to the well. Our hope is that one day God will remove our blindness so we can see our way toward deeper faith and understanding. I hear Paul writing about faithful iteration in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13:12 – “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I [and the Samaritan woman at the well] have been fully known.”