Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

a glimpse in the mirror

It occurred to me today
As I was wandering through the Gospels
Hoping to run into God

(I need a little help with my Easter sermon)

That Jesus, when he taught,
always tried to get the people he was talking to
To look at themselves, not others

With every teaching he challenged people to look at themselves
With every parable he told he asked people to put themselves in the story

It was never, “who do you think the prodigals are, who are the older brothers?  Which of your
friends, your enemies, your family, your neighbors?”
It was
“Which one are you?”

Perhaps this is where the religion that claims to follow the way of Jesus
Goes wrong
We tend, all too often, to make it about others
Not ourselves

We use the word “you” a lot
When we are called to use the word “I”

“You are a sinner” is much easier to say
It seems
“Than I am a sinner”
“You are wrong”, much easier
Than “I am wrong”

This is why, when I preach, I use “we” a lot
Because we are all in this together
We are sinners, we need help, we need love, we need forgiveness
I am part of “we”
I am not part of “you”  (at least I don’t think so, except for that darn spiritual bond)

It often occurs to me, as I write sermons, that I am really just preaching to myself
And allowing others to listen in
Hoping it will be helpful to them as well

So here is an idea
Let us, as we seek to follow Jesus
As we study his teachings,
And look at his life

Always remember that the person who is being spoken to
Is the one we see in the mirror

When it comes to challenging, and seeking change
When it comes to doing the hard work of metanoia (repentence)
That is where we have to start

And perhaps
That is where we have to end

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