Monday, March 8, 2010

"I know I told you this...but...."

An old friend who used to go to the parish I served in New Haven some 25 years ago showed up at the Eucharist on Sunday and after the service said "I remember what you said about 'the burning bush'...."

I was horrified! I'd said the same thing I'd said a quarter century ago about a passage from Exodus!!! Good grief, is there nothing new under the sun?

Truth is, I never look back at old sermons and since we're on a 3 year cycle of readings, most every reading has shown up for me 10 times by now. So, after I got over the shock of repeating myself, I realized there is a finite number of things to say about biblical passages, unless you are really crazy and start making things up.

So, maybe my friend just remembered me mentioning the 'burning bush'--and why wouldn't I mention it since it was in the readings--or else I said it before, what I said yesterday. Who knows?

My wife is always telling me I told her something before already. About 2/3 of the time I suppose I acknowledge she is right. But 1/3 of the time, I know I haven't. KNOW IT, know what I mean? But maybe she's right and I am like a stuck record or an audio tape on an endless loop. Who knows?

The Truth, as I see it, is this--there aren't an infinite number of things to say in sermons about most everything about the tradition and scripture and message of the Christian Faith. There just aren't.

A friend of mine, when he retired, was asked what he had preached about most. "Hope", he said. For me it would be "Love", but Hope would be in there, along with Listening and Imagining and Caring and taking a Journey and something about Strangers.

A dear friend says that there are really only two plots to all of literature (I've probably told you this before...why not?) and those two plots are these:
*a Stranger comes to Town; and
*Someone leaves on a Journey.

She's not too far from wrong.

So, if my friend remembers a sermon 25 years ago about The Burning Bush, I should thank God that she remembers. It is the images and metaphors and symbols of faith that give the meat to the bone, the fruit to the tree, the context to life, the ways of seeing what we should be seeing through the fog of living.

So, I repeat myself. Repetition might be the way to learn and remember the richness and wonder of God's sacred story. Just maybe. At least something to ponder....

Did I tell you about the bush that burned and spoke to Moses lately? Here's how that story goes and what it means to us......

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.