How Jesus’s subversive call to love continues to challenge us
a Homily for Proper 25A | Text: Matthew 22:34-46
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I’m going to come right out and say it. The economics of future-proofing the church are directly dependent on the generosity of older generations. If the church as we know it is to survive the next two decades, it’ll be because something changed.
Either we changed or the culture changed. Or maybe the circumstances changed. Or all three.
If there is no change, however, then we will run out of time and we will be changed against our will. This event will happen, not because we screwed up someplace, but because that’s the law of nature. The status quo leads to death. We know this from physics and the law of entropy, which regards that energy is either growing or declining. The very cycle of life is growth or decline. The only way to stave off decline is to put more energy into the system.
And in the end, all things still die. All things come to an end. We can’t Botox the church forever.
Warning: mild spoilers of The Walking Dead follow.
The Walking Dead. I haven’t read the comics, though I should have by now. I’m a geek, I used to be a comic geek at that, and I love the show, so this is totally in my wheelhouse. Maybe I love the suspense of watching the show as it comes on: of waiting until the next episode, the next season: too much to ruin it with too much knowledge.
After seeing the appearance of a new character, Fr. Gabriel in last night’s episode, it had me thankful for the character. At least thankful for the way he was portrayed in this episode. I can’t vouch for who he will become or who he “really” is.
His introduction seemed so over-the-top stereotyped (the freaked-out pacifist, screaming in the woods) that I was already getting pissed. Hear we go again. This is pretty much what happens for every depiction of a priest on TV that isn’t on Rev. We aren’t taken seriously or used in any way that isn’t a prop for something really lame or of fleeting relevance.
In truth, I think, writers generally don’t know how to handle priests and pastors in creative works.
A long, long time ago, a deeply faithful people were given a name. A very important name. The very name of their god. The same god who was revealed without a proper pronoun, but a description. The popular translation is
I AM WHO I AM
But even these words in English don’t capture the movement and power present in the Hebrew.
EHYEH ASHER EHYEH
Everett Fox, in The Five Books of Moses suggests
I will be-there howsoever I will be-there.
Let’s give Columbus Day the heave-ho. It is long past time.
Besides, it isn’t a big deal anyway.
Columbus Day is the lamest of national holidays:
There are no long-standing American traditions of cookouts and celebrations today.
It has no significant religious connections other than the fact that Chris was Catholic.
It isn’t beloved for its parades, its recognition of loyalty, or fun celebrations of spooks or tricks.
The Wedding Banquet, the king’s demands, and a kingdom of opportunity
a Homily for Proper 23 A | Text: Matthew 22:1-14
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