This greeting goes out across the country. Here in Ontario it has been cooler than normal for a few days. Hope you are warmed by this.
This week’s Gospel from The Message Luke 12:49-56:
To Start a Fire
49-53 “I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I’ve come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be—
Three against two,
and two against three;
Father against son,
and son against father;
Mother against daughter,
and daughter against mother;
Mother-in-law against bride,
and bride against mother-in-law.”
54-56 Then he turned to the crowd: “When you see clouds coming in from the west, you say, ‘Storm’s coming’—and you’re right. And when the wind comes out of the south, you say, ‘This’ll be a hot one’—and you’re right. Frauds! You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now.
The gospel is not that there is still more to come in the future. It’s not about going to heaven when we die, or about being forgiven now and awaiting freedom later. It’s not about experiencing the sacred in the midst of the secular. Neither is it a new teaching or a new moral code. It is the promised ‘power of God for salvation’ (Romans 1:16)–a power that frees us from all that opposed God and God’s will and all that alienates us from ourselves and each other. This power frees us to live according to God’s original plan, where selfless sharing, justice, mutuality, respect, trust, forgiveness and joyful community become realized.
Here’s a poem that was sent to me and very appropriate for this time of year.
Finally, the Poet
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
in the moonlight, but I can’t hear
anything, I can’t see anything—
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker—
green gowns lifting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing—
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet—
all of it
beyond all seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.
By Mary Oliver