Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tonight your soul is demanded of you

Yesterday, Jessie came by again. Just to drop in and pray. Reminded me of when she had come by before, having been asked to pay to pray somewhere else. Doing much better. But still needs the prayer time.
Today we’re talking about idolatry and greed. In Hosea (11:1-11), it’s Baal worship on the table again. I recall that one of Berthold Brecht’s first plays was Baal, about a man who was totally absorbed in himself. Consuming, using, everything around him with no thought to the consequences to others.This is the essence of idolatry, not following some ancient Babylonian religions but being totally absorbed in one’s self. I continue to believe that the first commandment, Thou shalt have no other God’s before me, is the essence of all the other commandments. All the others have to do with making something other than God, god in our lives.
This becomes explicit in today’s gospel, Luke 12: 13-21. A man asks Jesus to get his brother to divide up the inheritance. Instead, Jesus tells him a story about a rich man who tries, in essence, to take it with him. To have store houses to keep all his stuff. And then, 
20But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be? 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.
I recall the old Jewish story when a man asks Do I need to repent every day? and the rabbi says, No, only on the day before you die... Point being, you never know...we must always live as if each day were our last...
We also talk about the fact that still, over half the charity in the US comes from people who make less than $50000 a year. Which is like nothing to the very rich. The wedding I did last weekend with most of the guests flying in from Hong Kong may have cost that much.
And we talk about Woody Allen’s new movie, Blue Jasmine. The mash up of Madoff and Streetcar Named Desire. (John R hated Streetcar, most depressing movie he’d ever seen. Others loved the young Brando...)Jasmine, acted by Cate Blanchett, has lived a life defined by labels and name brands and possessions, funded it turns out, by other people’s money. And with her husband's fall, now she has to deal with it. An impressive acting job, but more so a prophetic word against the culture we live in. 
Commissioner Lilly in the dugout
Today is communion Sunday, and Lilly and her daughter Samantha put on the stoles and serve with me. Later today I’ll go to the last softball game of the year. Lilly has once again done a great job as commissioner. Her son Stephen as captain.
Good to have both Stephen and Cara back again. 
Our session meets. Gets up to date on our latest possibility. More negotiations tomorrow. 
It’s been a good day.
Captain Stephen

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