Good morning, friends!
I'm getting an earlier start this week to posting. No guarantees that the quality of the post will be different, though.
I've been concentrating on the gospel lesson for this week, Jesus' little talk about clean and unclean, using table manners as his illustration.
When I spent some time in China about seven years ago I was one of the few people in our group who did not eat street food. I was afraid, you see, to get travelers's stomach half way around the world. This is very ironic, since I was the member of the group whose responsibility it was to acquire and maintain the first aid and OTC medicine bag, as the only person with any rudimentary medical training. (I was a certified medical assistant in my previous life.)
The others were happily eating steamed buns, grilled meats, and other assorted vendor-offered delicacies, but I was too afraid. I think that in this regard, I was the typical "ugly American" tourist.
It wasn't that I was afraid of the food itself, but of the difference in sanitation. I just never felt as if I knew where the vendors' hands had been, or maybe it is that I knew very well where they probably had been.
We are so delicate, so protected in our isolated little culture. We seem to want things clean and recognizable--even in our churches. We seem to want things sanitized for our protection, so that we need never see or touch or taste anything that is not 100% safe.
I wonder what we're missing out on--both in terms of what experiences of the divine we have shut ourselves off from, and what secret spiritual "viruses" have we allowed to lurk in our hearts unnoticed while we are out there making sure our churches are "pure"?
Those are my ramblings this early Tuesday morning. What are your thoughts for this homiletical week?