Saturday, June 20, 2015

What keeps you going when you don’t know how long the road is?


Today, June 14th, we continued with our theme Life in the Spirit: Creating possibility with an emphasis today on the question,What keeps you going when you don’t know how long the road is? As we have done since  Pentecost, we open our service by singing Every time I feel the Spirit and after our  opening  announcements,  sing Guide My Feet Lord.

We begin our service of the word with the reading of Psalm 20 with our chanted response, Answer us when we call. After the gospel lesson, today, mark 5: 26-34,
Jeremy and I do together, as made famous by Arlo Guthrie., Inch by inch. 

Then it was time for our refection.

When I went outside yesterday, I saw a parade. A parade that  took me back to Oklahoma. It was a celebration of Juneteenth,  June 19th, 1865 when the Emancipation proclamation finally came to Texas. A long road ended. But in many ways, another long road was just beginning as the southern states began to enact the Jim Crow laws of separation that would that last into the 1960’s.

(One of our  long roads ended  yesterday when years of detritus were finally cleared out…)

The clean up crew

Dion helped too

So what keeps you going when you don’t know how long the road is? I put that question  on facebook yesterday…and got back interesting answers…like the love of the Lord…and frequent naps…

That’s what Jesus is talking to his people about….how to keep going….let’s face it…things were not going well for him…he had been abandoned by his family, kicked out of towns, hounded by the authorities…he knows that going up against the empire is not easy..(what Martin Luther King, Jr.  called the long road to freedom…)

This was Jesus’ first reversal sermon.

So he uses this Sowing parable…not like the song I sang, agriculture was different in those days. You cast the seed. Then there was nothing you could do but wait and then  be prepared to reap the harvest.

Jesus saw his time as an apocalyptic time. Playing off the prophet Joel 3: 13..put in the sickle, the harvest is ripe.. But what then,  take up arms, like Joel’s plowshares into swords? (3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords,
    and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”)
The growth of kingdom is  neither obvious nor controllable…our attention is not to provoking but instill courage and hope in a small fragile community…

Jesus’ words are Informed by Ezekiel and Daniel and their  tree images: ·  24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.

The revolution we seek  will proceed with patience and hope…

Jesus’ way is the way of nonviolence…servanthood leads to leadership, suffering to triumph, death to life. The means cannot be compromised by an attempt to manipulate ends…

Sharon Welch, who wrote a feminist ethic of risk says do what you’re called to do, regardless of uncertain outcome…just because…we do what we do to make the next thing possible…

We can’t win it all with one hail mary pass…

Or in other words…you don’t have to figure out the whole rest of your life, just what you need  to do next…our epistle assigned for today makes the statement 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new. And we have to ask are we willing to be a new creation? Are we open to becoming new?

And that’s how we keep going.

Our offertory was  Pues si vivimos and Andre sang Balm in Gilead.

And we actually sang a canon for our closing, Go With Us Lord.
Little Xavier is quite adamant that his father  should be with us when we sing Amen,s o wait until he can join us.
And then our Sunday is over.

26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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