Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A sermon that missed the mark

Monday, July 6, 2009

This is what the lake should be about. It is weird… I just read the New York Times on my phone sitting here in the cabin overlooking the lake. It is indeed an odd world. I am waiting on a call from someone in Mexico City. Cell phones and their use has become so commonplace that it’s easy to minimize the significance – the way that technology has made location less significant in some ways and our ability to be “on the move” much more possible. 

We went to church yesterday morning. I left feeling tired and drained. I just tried to explain to Aaron why, and I am not sure that I totally could. The “points” of the sermon maybe were OK; it’s just the delivery and the shallowness of it. The world matters so much, and we’re talking about being motivated by guilt to do what we are told. Maybe part of my disappointment is the difference in the way I hear the text and the way it gets preached. The reference in the intro to the Gospel to Jesus going abroad and at home. The rejection he experienced in Nazareth, that talks about this painful reality of being drained of power. He could do nothing there but heal a few, and he was astonished at their unbelief. How can we read that and not comment on it? The pastor focused on the sending out. With nothing but the clothes on their backs. No extra shoes, money or weapons. To go out trusting in the hospitality of strangers, in the welcome in a foreign community. Is it too much of a stretch to talk about migration when people are just going around various communities? What were the boundaries then? With the limitations of movement, political boundaries, limited transportation – what is the equivalent to the kind of movement we can make today? We have traveled farther over this weekend than what Jesus ever traveled in his life. And yet he acknowledges some difference, some openness, to those who come from outside, to those who migrate. Part of the disappointment with the sermon on Sunday maybe was the fact that the pastor began the service by asking visitors to identify where they were coming from, and as – one by one – most of the people in the sanctuary indicated they were from elsewhere, he jokingly asked if anyone was from Calvary (the name of the church). Then he preached as if everyone lived a block away and ignored the fact that this was a migrant community for that Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment