This week is really a round table. I’ve been indulging in some pretty political sermons this summer and was thinking it was time to get back on track, especially considering I now only have 6 weeks left in this call. But, I mean, how do you not? How do you think of anything else? As Canadian Anglicans most of us are familiar with efforts to sponsor refugees. But now, with the picture, and the scope, and being on the brink of violence breaking out in Europe, it feels like a drop in the bucket.
Today’s post is really just a way to open up a space on this blog for preachers to process what we will preach on Sunday. Sometimes we just need to wait another week for good news.
Thankfully, the lectionary does not leave us stranded. There is so much, I don’t know how it can not apply. We have that memorable collect, “Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people…” Are we seeing the answer to his prayer already? Can we continue to pray this for our own hearts, as well as the hearts of others?
I wonder what it would be like to invite everyone to read Proverbs together, then sit and contemplate? What if we spray painted across every brick wall and chain link fence that keeps people out? OK. Maybe just hang a banner.
The Psalm promises God’s protection. A comfort to those who are suffering. It is not, however, a comfort to us. God, preserve us from our comfort.
James is, again, so appropriate. There are some interesting memes out there about how, when a tragedy occurs, the number of tweets and updates from politicians and celebrities promising “prayers” and “thoughts” is completely out of proportion from other actions. Prayer is more than sitting in our pews and saying words. It is a constant breaking of the heart so open it is compelled to bring forth the kingdom. This week, the distinctions fell apart. Let’s keep it that way.
The gospel reading, particularly of the Syrophoenician woman, also reminds me of the Parable of the Unjust Judge. God responds to persistence with love and mercy. How do we respond? When the voices and cries get louder, we tend to shut down. May we respond with compassion as well.
So, please, write, share, be kind. We’re in this together.