Saturday, February 11, 2017

snow day

So, I get a day off tomorrow. And since I sort of only work on Sunday it makes a 'day off' seem like a 'week off'. I'll go to the office at some point but that's always more fun than work--I just talk with Bea and chill out.

And it is a good thing, let me tell you that the severe storm warning caused the Senior Warden to tell people to 'stay home and stay safe'. Because the gospel for tomorrow is a killer! I never want to preach on it ever again.

Let me see if I can copy it here.

Matthew 5:21-37
5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.'

5:22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire.

5:23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,

5:24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

5:25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.

5:26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'

5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

5:31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'

5:32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

5:33 "Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.'

5:34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

5:35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

5:36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.

5:37 Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

See what I mean? A real doozy. Hard to exagete (fancy 'preacher word' for 'explain'!) because Jesus is drawing some pretty stark lines in the sand in this one.

I remember, shortly after I retired, reading this gospel in a church in Meriden or somewhere. I can't remember what I said about it then since it was probably awful. What I do remember is at this church they took the kids out to Sunday School after the reading of the gospel. So the kids and teachers trooped our having just heard about severed hands and plucked eyes and divorce and not swearing and 'the evil one'.

"I pity those teachers," I said from the pulpit.

So, just as well I don't have to preach about Matthew's a real bummer of a gospel. Give me gentle Jesus, meek and mild any day to this Jesus....


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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.