Tag Archive for 'trust'

Pentecost 2 June 6, 2010

1 Kings 17:17-24                                                                 June 6, 2010

Luke 7:11-17                                                                       John L. McCausland

The Bible is peppered with poor widows. Like the two in the readings today, they are almost all nameless. Women in general in biblical society were without rights, including the right to own property. Indeed, they were themselves property, property of the men in their lives: first of their fathers, then of their husbands, then of their sons. And if they were widowed, they depended completely on their children, particularly their male children, to support and protect them. So these two stories tell us something important when they explain that in each case the widows had only one son, and that son was dead. Here we have two women utterly without earthly security, as good as without identity or meaning.

Why is the Bible so fond of these poor widows? I think it’s because you and I, all of us, are in reality just a few steps away from poor widowhood ourselves. Yes, of course, we have legal rights and a social safety net and material comforts beyond what all but a tiny few enjoyed in the time of Jesus. But for all of that, we really don’t have much control over our lives and the world. We have little idea what the world will be like in 50 years, whether there will even be human beings on the earth’s face. And in the shorter range, we don’t know about our own health five years from now, or the security of our children or grandchildren. So the poor widows of Scripture are Everyman, Everywoman, the human condition stripped of illusions — us. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 2 June 6, 2010’

Pentecost 3 June 21, 2009

Job 38:1-11                

Mark 4:35-41                                                                      

The Hebrew people, who wrote the Bible—both the Old Testament and the New—were a desert people. Water for them had a double, paradoxical meaning. It represented chaos, threat and danger. On the other hand, it represented life and new birth. We’ll get to that other hand in a minute, but let’s start with the chaos, threat and danger side of water.

Continue reading ‘Pentecost 3 June 21, 2009’

Lent 4 March 22, 2009

Numbers 21:4-9                                                                  

Ephesians 2:1-10                                                                

John 3:14-21

 

I was more than a little surprised when Bishop Robinson said yesterday, speaking at the annual diocesan stewardship institute, that the Old Testament reading for today was exactly meant for us, at this moment of economic crisis in the world. The bronze serpent, I thought to myself? I’d been wondering how I was going to explain this bit of weirdness to my congregation. Continue reading ‘Lent 4 March 22, 2009’