You win over people just like you win over a dog. You see a dog passing down the street with an old bone in his mouth. You don't grab the bone from him and tell him it's not good for him. He'll growl at you. It's the only thing he has. But you throw a big fat lamb chop in front of him, and he's going to drop that bone and pick up the lamb chop, his tail wagging to beat the band. And you've got a friend. Instead of going around grabbing bones from people... I'm going to throw them some lamb chops. Something with real meat and life in it. I'm going to tell them about New Beginnings.
Reluctantly, I pulled out my necklace and showed it to them. Samuel frowned. The little figure was stylized; I suppose he couldn't tell what it was at first. A dog?" asked Zee, staring at my necklace. A lamb," I said defensively, tucking it safely back under my shirt. "Because one of Christ's names is "The Lamb of God."" Samuel's shoulders shook slightly. "I can see it now, Mercy holding a roomful of vampire at bay with her glowing sheep." I gave his shoulder a hard push, aware of the heat climbing to my cheeks, but it didn't help. He sang in a soft taunting voice, "Mercy had a little lamb...
Reluctantly, I pulled out my necklace and showed it to them. Samuel frowned. The little figure was stylized; I suppose he couldn't tell what it was at first. "A dog?" asked Zee, staring at my necklace. "A lamb, " I said defensively, tucking it safely back under my shirt. "Because one of Christ's names is "The Lamb of God."" Samuel's shoulders shook slightly. "I can see it now, Mercy holding a roomful of vampire at bay with her glowing sheep." I gave his shoulder a hard push, aware of the heat climbing to my cheeks, but it didn't help. He sang in a soft taunting voice, "Mercy had a little lamb...
Supposing I know of a flower that is absolutely unique, that is nowhere to be found except on my planet, and any minute that flower could accidentally be eaten up by a little lamb, isn't that important? If a person loves a flower that is the only one of its kind on all the millions and millions of stars, then gazing at the night sky is enough to make him happy. He says to himself "My flower is out there somewhere." But if the lamb eats the flower, then suddenly it's as if all the stars had stopped shining. Isn't that important?
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lamb once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.
Prior to the monotheistic Yahweh, the gods made sense, in that they had familiar, if supra-human appetites-they didn't just want a lamb shank, they wanted the best lamb shank, wanted to seduce all the wood nymphs, and so on. But the early Jews invented a god with none of those desires, who was so utterly unfathomable, unknowable, as to be pants-wettingly terrifying. So even if His actions are mysterious, when He intervenes you at least get the stress-reducing advantages of attribution-it may not be clear what the deity is up to, but you at least know who is responsible for the locust swarm or the winning lottery ticket. There is Purpose lurking, as an antidote to the existential void.
Robert M. Sapolsky