Once again, with our Holy Communion we’re presented with some issues we deal with today, and not just seasonal! A clue can be found in the words of a Gnostic theologian who said “If you don’t understand the Flood Story, you’re drowning!”
And the Epistle carries it forward. And it includes something some well-known people who speak on the subject miss by miles!
While most priests would choose to preach about the loaves and fishes, I’m speaking about Jeremiah’s prophecy, since it seems to be something people like to claim to talk about today! Is it speaking of something that has happened, or something that is going to happen?
Look at it in light of Gamaliel’s warning (Acts 5:34-39), and you have a real challenge. And what is each of us going to do about it? That should keep most of us pondering for a while!
Here comes the so-called War again! I’m talking about the so-called “War On Christmas” that some folks declare this time of year. But is it? Please understand, I am not talking about the efforts to keep Christmas focused on what it is actually about.
What I am talking about are the folks that cringe at the sound of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”. Almost every faith has some kind of celebration this time of year, but not everyone has Christmas as part of their faith.
Almost every revered writing warns of phonies, the wanna-be prophets and self-proclaimed messiahs who claim to have been chosen by their particular deity to save us all. It happened in Biblical times, it happened since then, it’s happening now, and it will continue to happen until The Divine says enough’s enough.
Please don’t think that this is a problem only to the Christians. You can find them in any spiritual path. The trick is to know how to identify them for who they are. And then, of course, how to deal with them.
We often ask for favors and healings during a Eucharist, and here is a Gospel lesson that ties in well with that! Two people sought healing. One was a woman who sought healing for herself, and who did not announce her intent to obtain healing. Another, a ruler who, we might expect, would have folks listening to him. Two healings, but look closely. There is something for us to gain here!
Something that I’ve been mulling over for some time is the question of people, or groups of people, who claim to be what they are not. I’ll give credit where it’s due: the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism admit that they have modified the original path set by Moses; although I’m sure they consider the intent to be the same. But what of the people who claim to be Christians, yet so obviously do not follow Jesus’ teachings? I do not recall Jesus teaching hate.
And then, it’s not like that’s strictly a Christian problem. I’ve seen it among Buddhists, Hindus, and even Pagans and Wiccans: claiming to be one thing, yet seemingly on a different path.
Until all of the Ancient Ones come and sit down with us and tell us where it’s really at, our project is to figure this out!