Sunday, June 29, 2008


THis morning in worship we heard this from the Gospel:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
Isn't that just a nice helpful piece of Good News. As she rev writes, it is a case of "The Word of the Lord--Like it or not.

The sermon was talking about the uncomfortable places that the path of faith takes us, about those times when we are called to say the unpopular things, about the times when we find ourselves (like Jeremiah, like Martin Luther, like countless others over the centuries, like Jesus himself) put in the place wher we have no choice but to share the truth GOd puts in our hearts (here I stand, I can do no other).

During the sermon I found myself saying that my hope/dream/wish for the mainline church is that we recover our voice for sharing our truth even when it isn't popular. We need to embrace our loss of status as part of the power structure not as a tragedy but as a gift. IT is a gift because for 1700 years the church has been a part of the power structure in the West and as such has too easily silenced its prophetic voice. And the powers have willingly/willfully used the church as a tool (the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington came to mind).

But we need to hear the words of this Gospel reading. We need to share the Good News even when people around us don't think it is so Good. We need to risk losing popularity in the name of faithfulness.

THis evening as I was reflecting further on the sermon, I was reminded of the old saying that the church is called to comfort the afflicted and affilct the comfortable. But we seem to have as a default that everybody we work with is actually afflicted and in need of comfort...

It also occurs to me that comforting the afflicted isn't the same as consoling them. Consoling assumes our task is to make them fel better. But maybe true comfort means something deeper. maybe true comfort means changing what is doing the afficting. Some social change models talk about the time of affliction/chaos as the prime time for personal and/or societal change to happen. Maybe that is indeed the best way to offer true comfort -- not to mention that alot of the time people may not be nearly as afflicted as they believe themselves to be...

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate these thoughts, esp. from your last paragraph