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Geek Squad Jesus

Today's UPI column

So There I was…

Inside an organ. The church organ was old even during my childhood. It had fallen upon hard times, having been sold with the building by the Lutherans. It was as big as a small house, from the motor in the basement that filled its mighty bellows to the 16 foot pipes soaring above the sanctuary. My mother played it every Sunday. Trained on piano she taught herself how to play the two keyboards and the extra keyboard of pedals that she played with her feet. She had nearly perfect pitch and the organ that hadn’t had proper maintenance in a decade must have driven her to distraction.

This is how my father came to be the organ’s repairman.

He claimed it started with a toaster. She wanted to throw it out. He told her it was perfectly good, it just needed a little work. He was kinda cheap. She handed it to him. “Fine, Fix it.” So he took it apart and figured out what was wrong and fixed it on the spot. He was proud. She was cautiously impressed. She said “You think you can fix anything, don’t you?” He allowed as this might be close to the truth. She said “Fine – fix my organ.” And his career as a repairer of fine wooden tracker pipe organs began.

He climbed around inside that thing for years. And when there was occasionally something he wanted to reach in a space too small for an adult, he sent in one of us children. We learned obedience – touch this not that. Put your feet here not there. He was good with machines, and good with children. He was bold. And he knew that you couldn’t fix the organ from the keyboard you had to get inside it to do the job.

I cannot help that fact that he shaped my theological impressions. I wouldn’t want to.

I have previously stated that I think that the death of Christ had nothing to do with punishment. Even Pilate knew that this was a farce. So what did happen on that day outside of Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago?

I think something broken got fixed. I see Jesus the redeemer, as Jesus the repairman, tech support if you will. See, there was this system called ‘time and space’ and running on this system was a program called ‘humanity.’ And it got all buggy. And the code called ‘the law’ just wasn’t working. So the system designer had to crack it all open. Get inside, wipe some stuff, patch other stuff, write some whole new stuff.

It’s a frustrating job, but somebody’s got to do it. It helps if the somebody doing the fixing knows what they are doing. It also helps to have patience. Sometimes, people are just dumb, they do not interface well with the program, and you have to very patiently explain to them, again and again, how the thing is supposed to work. But if the code is all glitchy, you have to get your hands dirty. And you can’t fix the code from the desktop.

So for me the incarnation, life, teaching, death and resurrection of Christ is all part of the same repair job. He got in, bringing with Him tools, skills, and a supremely solid connection to the designer. He ran the program, personally. Diagnostics were completed. One of the buggiest parts of the program was death, so he ran that too. But death was not the end, Resurrection - the reboot to end all reboots was needed. Emptied the recycle bin called Hell while He was at it.

The Law was rewritten, and the concept of clean and unclean pretty much wiped. Do you know what a time saver that was? Efficiency upgrade deluxe. Religious practice within the confines of tribal groups was made obsolete. Limitless grace was written in.

Then the lovely fixed program had to be turned over to the users. So a help desk was established. Some people call it the Holy Spirit, some people call it the Present Christ, some people call it The Inner Light – there are lots of names for it. But it is there 24/7.

So we run the program. Seek the Kingdom. Pursue peace. Get Serenity. Achieve enlightenment. War and hate are options under the free will part of the program. So are glory, sacrifice, and love. Calamity is just part of the set up. Calamity makes room for altruism and compassion. The whole thing works imperfectly, very imperfectly, but that is because of the human interface, not the program. The program works just fine. The human learning curve is steep but it is also part of the design.

Everybody in the program has a task. Finding it and performing it is the work of being human.

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I work for tech support. I run tutorials. I coach new users. I scan for viruses. I help people with their upgrades. I try and keep a very solid connection. Occasionally I help people bust out of dead end spots they get themselves into. It is a good gig.

Frustrating at times, but very satisfying at others.

I come by it naturally.

Dad would understand.

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