Bringing religious discussion to any cult classic is sure to ruffle some feathers, but please hear me out. It may have a good ending – or great beginning, depending on how you look at it.
Nothing is more taxing than trying to untangle last year’s Christmas lights. They are frustrating and confusing while making you sweat and swear.
You wonder if you could ever untangle the mess, whether the Christmas lights will ever work again, or whether it’s all really worth it. Your promise yourself this is the last time you go this route and that next time will be different.
And while you are in the midst of this mess, you wonder to yourself: Have Christmas lights always been this way? Do they always get tangled? Does everyone have these same frustrations?
Catholicism makes us ask the same questions: Has Catholicism always been this messy? Does it always get tangled? Does everyone have these same frustrations?
I believe the early church, from which Catholicism was founded, was not a mess, but actually quite the opposite. It was beautiful. It was honest and sincere and humble – like the Griswold house with a dash of humility.
The Catholic Church consisted of caring for one another and meeting needs all while sharing the Gospel with everyone they came in contact with. It was focused on Biblical authority and the perseverance of the truth. It did not worry about getting everything right as long as the absolute truth was being sought.
But it is run by people. People like me – and Cousin Eddie. Fallible. Sinful. Emotional. Selfish.
Because we all are. All of us. Everyone of us. Regardless of our position and responsibilities. We’re not perfect – and never will be.
And when people are involved, something’s going to get messy and tangled. Unfortunately, this time it was a little bigger than last year’s Christmas lights.
Do other denominations have all the answers? No – because they too are led by people. People with the same character traits as the Catholic Church.
But if they preach Christ alone, they at least have directions for untangling any knots.
And they know the lights work. Because they are preaching the Light.