Saturday, October 24, 2009
11th Hour Preacher's Party:The Who's Responsible!!! Edition
The Desert, photo by mompriest
One of my favorite Jewish mystics is Lawrence Kushner. A number of years ago I have had the honor of being in his presence for two days at a clergy conference in Chicago. It was, to say the least, awesome. He is a fabulous story teller and connected deeply with this all Episcopal Clergy group drawing lines of relationship between the rabbinic understanding of scripture and faith and the Episcopal. Here is an excerpt from his book, "Invisible Lines of Connection, Sacred Stories of the Ordinary" Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004.
"I am fascinated that the word 'responsible' has two different meanings. One connotes guilt, blame, punishment, as in 'Who's responsible for this mess?'; the other seems to focus on the present and connotes moral maturity as in, 'She's a very responsible woman.' The former means, 'blame'' the latter draws its meaning from able to respond,' that is 'respons-able.' Thus, one who is guilty but denies it, is not able to respond. And, conversely, one who is not guilty nevertheless might still be responsible. Every day, situations arise which require the action of a responsible person." (page 84)
Our readings this week, I think, point us to look at what it means to "respond" and from that where our "response-ability" is. The readings from Job and Mark seem to point us toward the idea that responding to God transforms us. They especially seem to indicate that responding to suffering, taking action to move through suffering, as both Job and Bartimaeus do, is faithful, and therefore transformative, even, healing.
This is just one direction a preacher might take with the readings this week. There are, I'm sure, many more. Where are you going? And, how can we help?
I have Fair Trade coffee and organic yogurt and granola to share. All of us together will have lots of love and support, ideas and yes, even frustration, to share. We're in this together, friends. Yes, you might say, we're all response-able for breaking open the word of God tomorrow.... So, let's get this party started!
Posted by Terri at 3:00 AM