Monday, February 05, 2007

Grumbling at God

Time has come to read the lessons for the upcoming Sunday. Luke 6:17-26 tells me blessed are the poor...the hungry... those who weep... those who are hated.


I've heard these words so many times, but for some reason they're really sticking in my craw this week. Hard to swallow! Luke continues with a list of woes, woe to you who are rich...who are full now...who are laughing now...who are spoken well of. Mhmpf?

My training (what of it I can remember) tells me that this is about the great reversal, that the world as we see it is really upside down, and God through Jesus is trying to turn it right side up. So all hunger, injustice, and suffering will be turned into joy, and all greed and selfishness will be shown for the nasty mucky sinfullness that it is.

OK. So most of my people are not rich, but they're doing really well compared to a lot of the world's population. Almost none of them have had to go hungry, that they can remember. Plenty of them have reasons to weep AND to laugh. Plenty of them know what it means to be hated, but also what it's like to have people speak well of them. So what does the "Sermon on the Plain" have to say to us?

I can tell God is trying to stretch and push me, and all of us, with this one. I can feel the uncomfortable nudging. Poke, poke, poke. Like an annoying brother during a long distance car trip who just can't leave you alone, and you know that you are stuck for several more hours with him. And when you tattle about the poking, you get yelled at for not getting along. "Don't make me come back there!"

Well, I think I need someone to come back here, and help me ask our pestering God what in the world he/she/it/thou wants! 'Cause ignoring it won't make him go away or stop. (My mom always told me to just ignore my brother, if I didn't react, he'd stop bothering me. It didn't work then, and I don't think it will work now either!)

Well, no great insights or answers are appearing at this moment. So I'm going to go for a walk with my husband and daughter, and let things stew. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

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