This week two people I admired greatly passed away . . .
One was a theologian and scholar, Marcus Borg, and I found great insight from his writings and lectures. Borg was certainly a leading light for those of us who think of ourselves as progressive Christians. Not only did he bring great insight into the life of Jesus, he understood the importance of establishing Interfaith dialogue. He was brilliant, humble, and a person who cared deeply about the church. (As an aside, he looked very much like my father, Richard Colglazier). Borg will continue to live on through his many books, but he will be desperately missed.
The other person I’m thinking about today is Ernie Banks. Mr. Cub. He played for the Chicago Cubs for 19 seasons. I remember watching him on television when I was a kid. He had a pure enthusiasm for the game, was always a gentleman, and even though he broke the racial barrier with the Cubs, he always remained humble and a true professional both on and off the field. After his baseball career ended, he remained the most popular Chicago Cub of all time. I’m so glad he was awarded the Presidential Meal of Honor before his passing.
I never really knew Marcus Borg, though I preached in his home parish years ago, and read many of his books. I never met Ernie Banks, even though I admired him from afar. Yet both of these men — professional, accomplished, inspirational — made a difference in my life and the lives of so many. I’m grateful for both of them today.
It’s a Saturday and a good day to Take a Breath. One of the measures of our humanity is giving thanks for those people — near and far — who brought pleasure, joy and insight into our lives. And for me at least, I am thinking of two very different men — Macus Borg and Ernie Banks. One man taught me that Jesus still matters; another taught me that — next to Jesus — no one quite suffers like a Cub’s fan.