Series

How do we go deeper to show up better?

Jul 05, 2020   •  

The Reverend Michele H. Morgan

July 5, 2020

Pentecost 5A

“To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.  At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”   Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

 

So here we are in Matthew’s gospel, which is and can be called the, ‘teacher’s gospel’ so the followers have been called, and then the whole rest of the chapter is sayings by Jesus. As he teachers those gathered around his circle, and before he sends them out into the world.

I have actually read a bunch of the bible, and I get surprised sometime,  I hear and or see a passage,  “To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

I think to might self, I have never heard that in my life.  I write by look up the passages on the internet and I actually went and found my bible to see it in print.  I know that I have never heard that before in my life.

And yet, I should have just kept reading because the thing is this, if I had kept reading I would have saved myself the trip, it is because when there is something that is so unfamiliar it is because there is also a really famous part that I as the hearer and as the preacher jumps upon.  the “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I mean that is the money part in this passage and I suspect it is what I have always preached on, and right now, and yet, with a pandemic on an upswing, a continuing conversation about whose lives matter, stolen land, sacred mountains being carved up, black men lynched and ruled as suicide, Brionna Taylor’s killers still not fired let alone, investigated, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen bludgeoned to death on an Army base, and women are not safe, especially Black and Latino women and them my goodness fill in the blank about all manner of other things.   So the yoke being easy feels far away.

The Passage Jesus saying really clearly well y’all judged John, and now you have judged me and it is the external things that you have judged us on.   Not only judged us but dismissed us and you have missed the point.  What should they and we have/had to base our thoughts on instead?    Well, Jesus points us in this direction, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

As Jennifer Kaalund writes this, “Wisdom clarifies our vision. When Jesus declares that wisdom is vindicated by her deeds, he is lifting up an important aspect of his Jewish heritage, the wisdom tradition. Wisdom grants us the ability to understand beyond our sensory perception. If wisdom is vindicated by her deeds, what are her deeds? Wisdom provides order to chaos. (Proverbs 8:27–31). She grants us humility (Psalm 11:12) and protects and guards us (Psalm 4:6). Wisdom is a life-giving gift that comes with the Lord’s favor. According to the book of James, godly wisdom “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). The results of wisdom are evident.

You have to be aware and awake, you must look around and see that the world is changing and we are asked to change too.  Jesus is instructing us, Jesus is calling to us in this passage to open our eyes and see around us.  The part of the passage we all know is the part that lets us off the hook.  Yoke easy!   EXCELLENT!  We got this, thanks Jesus!

Yet, and Yet, we need to be changed people for that Yoke to fit, I have preached sermons and I know that I have said, yokes must be fitted just so that they do not rub, and I have preached that God fits it for you.  I have done many a congregation a disservice by that, though.  We must do the work so that we are able to use that yoke so that we are able to continue to change and more importantly change the world.

As Michelle Dibblee would say, “How do we go deeper to show up better? “

As Wisdom calls to us, we are called to change.   To understand beyond our sensory perception, the use of scripture, and gatherings, and talking to each other and bringing our whole self forward into the work of God in the world is the call.  It will change us.   Bring our whole selves, Bring our whole selves rather than picking and choosing.  I am not talking to just the Christians in this I am talking to you to go and do your work, to become more of what Wisdom is calling from us.  We need to seek an order to chaos, to be humble,  to use the tools that we are given to change.

How do we go deeper to show up better?

For me, that is prayer and meditation.  Talking to God, and trying to listen.  I am also using Qi Gong to try and get quiet, to move past my own brain, I have done therapy in the past and know I will move into it again, I am part of 12-step,  read books, and talked to others about all sorts of things. For you, it might be a very different journey but you have to take it, you have to do the work.  The world is calling out, there is so much broken;  a pandemic on an upswing, a continuing conversation about whose lives matter, stolen land, sacred mountains being carved up, black men lynched and ruled as suicide, Brionna Taylor’s killers still not fired let alone, investigated, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen bludgeoned to death on an Army base, and women are not safe, especially Black and Latino women, and then my goodness… fill in the blank.

How do we go deeper to show up better?

THE WORLD IS CALLING OUT, how will you move yourself to change?  Wisdom is calling, the Spirit is blowing on to you and the world, let us do our work, change…we cannot nor must we shortcut it into saying we are done.

Amen.