Friday, September 2, 2016

The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (C), September 11, 2016 - Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 and Luke 15:1-10
Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28


You don't need a weatherman 
to know which way the wind blows,
Yet Jeremiah even knew
Wherefrom the wind to come arose -
And why! And yet, his people failed 
To grasp the reason for the storm,
Since how they'd lived, revealed they hadn't
Let the news of God transform
Stupidity of feeling best
To showing: knowing they were blessed.

Scott L. Barton

At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them. 

“For my people are foolish, 
they do not know me; 
they are stupid children, 
they have no understanding. 
They are skilled in doing evil, 
but do not know how to do good.” 

I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; 
and to the heavens, and they had no light. 
I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, 
and all the hills moved to and fro. 
I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, 
and all the birds of the air had fled. 
I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, 
and all its cities were laid in ruins 
before the Lord, before his fierce anger. 

For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. 

Because of this the earth shall mourn, 
and the heavens above grow black; 
for I have spoken, I have purposed; 
I have not relented nor will I turn back.

Tissot, James Jacques Joseph: Lost Drachma
(between 1886 and 1894) Brooklyn Museum

Luke 15:1-10


What sin did the lost sheep commit?
Sins are intentional, right?
Sheep are just plain stupid.
It's in their nature to get lost.
Likewise, what sin did the coin commit?
They get lost, period.
(Think of how many times you've lost
Your keys, or your cell phone.)
So was it a bad analogy?

Or did Jesus mean that
The + very + definition + of + repent =
God + has + found + you.

The very definition of repent
Is God's joy!
Repenting = rethinking your life
To the point of imagining God's joy
That you are! That you are God's!
You don't HAVE to do anything
You don't have to DO anything
You don't have to do ANYTHING!
God found you!

No point being sheepish about that,
Or chintzy - now - with anything!
(You still don't get it?  Well, there was this father, see....)

Scott L. Barton

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to [Jesus]. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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