Sunday, July 23, 2006

From the church lady within. . .

Our dog has diarrhea. He wakes us up in the middle of the night moaning, begging to go out. Of course we oblige because we don't want our carpet to be covered with his stinky peanut butter. As a result I'm up too early. I was sitting here doing my thing after I put the dog back to sleep with Eikon, and the I realized I need to get ready for church. I showered, dressed (quite nicely by the way) and then got ready to go, when I realized (remembered, rather) that my computer clock resets to EST every time I force restart it, which is all the time, because I'm too lazy to wait for everything to shut down. So I'm an hour early, and I don't want to go to church now because if I do I'll end up doing the music for the first Mass. So I sit here, and write.

Today's first reading starts out: (Jer 23:1-6)
"Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture,
says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds."

Do you mind if I wax homeletic? What a powerful message to the leaders of the church and to the leaders of the world who claim this scripture as their own. So many of us are driven away right now. I'm driven away by the shepherds of the church by their angry, insensible, and un-pastoral treatment of gays. I'm driven away by the shepherds of our country by their lack of support for our country in health care, education, and more - ignorance caused by a focus on problems an ocean away from myself.

I guess it's not safe or holy of me to long for the retribution that the Old testament God promises, but I still wonder what that will be. Everytime something awful happens, some moron like Jerry Fallwell comes out and blames it on liberal America. It's God's revenge. I take pride in the fact that most liberal Christians would never make a statement like "The September 11th Attacks was God's punishment for the evil deeds of America." I can't help but wonder though, if we gave those sort of people a little tit-for-tat, they might shut up. I suppose it's not worth it, because the answer is most certainly "absolutely not".

Today's Gospel (Mk 6:30-34) reminds us that there is no end to our mission and very little rest. Jesus takes his disciples on a boat ride for rest, and when they return there are teams of people seeking council and healing. The need for shepherds doesn't go away - and these shepherds were so dynamic, so consuming, that unlike the old testament reading, the sheep have not scattered - they wait.

Perhaps this is a way to know your success as a shepherd - your sheep wait for you if you disappear. The scary part is there are plenty of sheep that will wait for and follow people like Fallwell, Phelps, and Bush, and it's easy for them to convince themselves that they are good shepherds by ignoring the millions casted astray.

Thats all I got.