Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm supposed to be writing a sermon

...and I'm stuck. I'm preaching at 7 a.m. tomorrow; I was offered this day and I said, "Sure!" Really, it shouldn't be hard; it's the feast of St. Benedict, and this only needs to be about four minutes long. Telling anything at all about him could take most of that.

I think the readings are tripping me. Either of the Psalms, and the section of Proverbs, I can wrap my mind around; they're about listening to wisdom. The Gospel is from Luke 14, about giving up all your possessions to follow God.

I've been a (very) poor hippie. I'm going into more debt than I'll ever pay off, to do what I'm doing right now. I'm doing this willingly. But I don't have the right to preach poverty to 70-year-olds who worked for decades to have two homes and go golfing when they want to. I have no right to judge other people's choices. I can talk about Benedict giving up everything for God. I can't tell anyone to do that.

We are, each and all of us, called in the ways that we are called, to do the work that is ours. This Gospel reading is about counting the cost, and then calling it nothing. I don't know how to speak this, to people who have more materially than I do. I'm also catching myself, for not being as open and attentive to God as I want and need to be.



juniper68 said...

Hey Kirstin,

It's way too late for this (or the phone message I just left you) but wanted to let you know I'm behind you. I was at a stewardship workshop in may and posted this story over at MY place, but worth repeating here, I think:

"a woman in a former congregation who was a famous tither, who told the congregation during their pledge drive one year "God's not interested in my 10% - God wants to know what I'm doing the other 90, and where I got the whole bundle." Jesus said nothing about tithing, he asked for 100% - we are not asking folks for enough. Preach about consumerism more, and about a stewardship message that is about a whole life."

Yes, you CAN ask/tell/exhort them to give it all up - or at least be accountable for the other 90%. Nobody else is going to, and it's good to at least HEAR it.

See you soon? Maybe Friday....

Kate said...

What Juniper said.

All we can say to folk of more or less means is that we are called to stewardship, to be intentional about all we do with all we have all the time.