Sunday, October 21, 2007

itching for the myths

2 Timothy 3: 13-4

I am the "mass reader" this week. That means I read the lessons, lead the psalm and the prayers of the people. The Gospel did practically nothing for me... I'm not especially fond of the parables where Jesus implies that only by being the squeaky wheel will you get results. In this world, maybe... but with God too?

But Paul's letter to Timothy hit home: Evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation from faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus... I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Our celebrant gave an excellent sermon on the temptation to think we know it all, and therefore to be righteously justified in proclaiming our own agenda. He has a unique humility (not often found in very many priests) and used himself as an example.

I thought about persistence and patience. I thought to myself: "Impossible." When I am persistent, people just think I'm a pain in the kabotza. When I am patient, they ignore me and figure everything is all right. How do you in fact, correct, rebuke and encourage... all in the same breath? But the stakes are too high if you do not even try.

All Scripture... is useful to teach us... what is wrong in our lives. There's a lot that's wrong in our lives right now. And I see myself and those around me itching for the myths we'd rather hear.

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