Pages

Donate to our boiler restoration fund!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What is your vision?

Sermon 10/23



28Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
30I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

Is that text from Joel familiar to you? It’s quoted in our Pentecost story own Acts. It’s apocalyptic.. in its very nature…and if you look close, it’s got prophecy coming from unexpected places…the “sons and daughters” ..”old men”…and a friend once pointed out, it’s seemingly reversed..IE, you‘d expect the young to have dreams, the  old to have visions…and it is all a result of an outpouring off the Holy Spirit…

For months, as I’ve watched our election process,I’ve felt a sense of the apocalyptic…that’s why I love Bob Dylan’s songs like “Hard Rain”…the more I think about it , it seems like everybody’s got a sense of the apocalyptic…
Trump supporters feel like the country’s in peril and only one man save it. 
Others feel that  IF Trump is elected its all over.
Bernie supporters believed it was time for a revolution.
Hmmmmm…..it might be interesting to think about it not in terms of terror to come but what are the dreams? What do the visions look like?

A commentator I have really come to appreciate, Jill Duffield, (editor of Presbyterian Outlook,a former pastor in South Carolina) raises the issue of civility, how protestants make it next to godliness.And how it can curtail community, because we never know what’s really going on.  Paul’s whininess in jail or the tax collector’s fervent prayer. Civility can be used to silence voices. And be a substitute for true community.

BUT…I think what I miss most of all right now is civility. There has been a meanness,a  coarseness like I don’t remember. Though come to think about it,  I do remember:
Barry Goldwater and the nuclear bomb ads
My pastor keeping us after worship to tell us that If Kennedy was elected, the pope would be running the country
George Herbert Bush’s Willie Horton ads against  Dukakis…implying if he were elected black criminals would run wild.
Soo…but nevertheless…there was a tradition of civility, cross aisle friendships…like the surprising close friendship of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anton Scalia….
Hmmmm….

I like Michelle Obama’s statement (I would vote for her) that when they go low, we go high….

So what am I saying?

It feels apocalyptic to me..with climate change, black lives matter…BUT we’ve lived through a lot of apocalyptic times.
Yes, we need to restore civility, but not silence voices…
The big one is about visions and dreams…do you still have a dream? a vision? what will  we leave behind us?
That’s a pretty big question for me right now…at this stage  of my life..

Can we move beyond apocalyptic fear to having a real vision and working to make it real? What does it  look like? Feel like? It’s up to us to define it…to make it clear




As part of our service, I sang Bob Dylan’s A Hard rain’s a gonna fall…and added these words:
And I’ll sing for the players who take a brave knee
As the anthem plays an black bodies bleed
And I’ll call out the man who wants a great wall
And all who resident while more bodies fall
And I’ll say to straight before it’s too late
It will takeout strong love to our back the hate
And it’s a hard rain’s gonna fall….





Joel 2: 23-32
23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; 
for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. 24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.
26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
28Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
30I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

Second Reading 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Luke 18:9-14

9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."

No comments:

Post a Comment