Sunday, August 12, 2007

putting it all together

Luke 12: 33
Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Our celebrant this morning always thinks it's ironic when she has to preach to us about giving up the things of the world. But once you've basically de-cluttered your life of material possessions, the truth of what this message really requires comes home.

Anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God becomes like those material possessions we discarded long ago... and when there are no possessions to divert, possessiveness still finds its own perverse forms.

Maybe there will be an open need to control our physical space, or a need to be needed (another form of control), or perhaps there will be the sense of righteousness and responsibility for another who seems to us immature or half-hearted in their faith and therefore needs to be "guided" carefully and told repeatedly that they don't measure up. Whatever it is we hold onto will get in the way.

Hebrews 11: 13-16
They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland... they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one...

One message of this morning's sermon was that primarily we are all seekers. We experience an uneasy sense of alienation in this world and are constantly on the prowl for something that assures us we belong. One of the problems with this longing is that our culture has a number of bogus ways to fill the void... our economy pins its profit margins on convincing us that it can be filled... with a newer car, a classier wardrobe, a bigger home. To be "in" means we know the right places to dine, the right clubs to join, the right vacations to book.

But anyone who has had some of these things and subsequently still feels empty, knows deep inside that the illusion of fulfillment doesn't last. And... Jesus' answer is so radical, that even when some of us go the first mile to follow his instructions, we still hit walls of resistance on the deeper levels.

Perhaps part of the problem is we might be meant to feel this way... transient and in transition... always. Can that be? Faith that God knows exactly what is going on, has everything in control, is something I profess with my lips, yet continually try to help along. Like Sarah, in today's lesson about the faith of Abraham: Abraham was old, She was barren. Yet the promise of God was that he would be the father of nations. (Time's a wasting... better help it along with my maidservant.)

Waiting for God to act is no easy feat. The good news is God is still willing to listen, even if not to act (on our timetable). "Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord..." —Isaiah 1: 18

1 comment:

Marcia H said...

Wow. . . you speak from the depths of wisdom.
Enjoyed my annual visit to your blog. You are such a gift to your community and to all you reach.

Keep bloggin' and 'toonin'. . .and squeezin'. May your feet feel an ever surer path.