Delivered at Ames UCC
on February 19, 2017
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
Sermons are written to be
heard rather than read.
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One of my spiritual practices is to write in a journal at bedtime. Not that I’m always writing about God, but I’m trying to make sure that I am a reflective person rather than a reactive one. God does know that we have enough reactive people in the world.
So several nights ago I found myself writing, “I’m doing my work and living my life as if the world hasn’t completely changed.” As I sorted through my frustrations and fatigues and worries, I found that one of the problems contributing to all of them is that I have not found a new way in this new world.
Not the new world that we call Easter morning, but the new world of this hot planet. We should not be eager to get outside on February 19. We should be bundled up and crabby about it.
And our personal temperatures are being tested daily, with threats to the Endangered Species Act, ban-breaking weapons testing by a nation with whom we do not have the best relationship, and the corruption of our teachers’ ability to teach us what they need to do their very hard jobs.
That last one feels among the most personal to me. In this room alone, that touches Emily, Sunny, LeAnne, Genya, Laurie, and Susan. Do you know how many hours they work? And with any student that might come through their door? Why sabotage their success?
Any one of these issues would be sufficient to create anxiety and redirection in our community efforts, but we are getting new ones each and every day.
I know some of us survive this by checking out: Just keep the regular schedule and turn off all media. Or we self-soothe by telling ourselves it can’t be that bad, it can’t get much worse.
But based on our conversations, I would say the majority of us are more engaged that ever, more attentive to the headlines than ever, and making more phone calls and protest signs than ever before in our lives.
We do not live in the same world any more. How will we endure?
Both of the people Jesus interacts with today give us examples of how to live our faith. But only one shows us how to do so when the world is falling apart.