Daily Word of Grace # 78 (July 2, 2020)
In Herman Melville’s 1851 magnum opus, Moby Dick, he describes the deranged Captain Ahab’s myopic focus on killing the famed white whale this way: “All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it (Bantam classics edition, 200). In the same way Captain Ahab sought to take out “all the general rage and hate felt by his race from Adam down” upon Moby Dick, people often do the very same thing with one another, whether it be a different race or gender or ethnicity or nationality or sexual orientation. There is so much “general rage and hate” today—all you have to do is look at your newsfeed for about ten seconds to glimpse it. And yet in the same way (spoiler alert) Moby Dick ends with Captain Ahab’s demise and Moby Dick’s survival, for the result of all such “general rage and hate” is always self-destruction. On Good Friday Jesus absorbed “all the general rage and hate felt by his race from Adam down” on behalf of all of us “from Adam down”—regardless of race or gender or ethnicity or nationality or sexual orientation or anything else. And Jesus’ resurrection is good news for all of us “from Adam down” as well: “for as all die in Adam, so all we be made alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Love and Prayers,