Sunday, July 23, 2017

Matthew 25.14-30 Parable of the Talents

Lectionary musings ...

Matthew 25.14-30 ... hmmm ... the business of the talents ... and business it is ... then or now, it's about work and profits ... sure ... that's what life is all about ... for those who have, and those who don't. I don't know of any other kind of life, other than a monastic vocation, which, however, relies upon the work and beneficence of others, even as the monks themselves must labor in the fields and barns and workshops of their monastery.

One commentator suggested that the original story made the third man the hero, because he refused to participate in the system. Well, that may be ... but in looking at Matthew 25, thinking a bit about what's intended in the gospel, I read and re-read the story, looking carefully at the third man.

Who was afraid.

So, maybe this question: Was his fear accurate?

Was his understanding of the "master" true?

The other two had no difficulty whatsoever in doing something good ... they gave it their best shot, whereas the third man was crippled with fear, and hid the talent, and in so doing, failed both himself and the master, not to mention the entire household.

Without getting all psychological here, I wonder how many folks misperceive God, and how many of god's preachers offer the misconception, compelling people to bury what's given to them, filling them with a fear of judgment, and so they never really use what's been given to them, thus denying themselves the adventure of life, denying the household of their labor, and the master of a fair return.

It doesn't help to micromanage a parable, looking for meaning in every tad and bit ... but if this parable touches upon the crippling power of fear, then it's a painful reminder that those who are trapped in it, for whatever reason, will lose everything. Fear is a terrible thing, and distorts reality, and closes doors, and life gets buried before the end.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017



Dogs are scared to death with all the noise ... so, to be mindful of their state ... it's the least we can do.

It's a crazy night, and here in LA, the sky around our place is alight with streaks and flashes and color in every direction ... screeches, crackles, booms and bangs.

For some, it's hamburgers and hotdogs ...
Cold beer or Margaritas ...
Friends and family.

Some will be thoughtful about the times.

Lady Liberty and Justice for All.

We can hope ...
A trait so profoundly human.
So daunting at times.

But hope is our lifeline to life.

And with the sky alight with color, with all the oohs and aahs of the crowds, and the cries of excited children, we hope for our nation and hope for our world.

So remember the dogs.
And the people, too.

For all of them, we hope.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Prayer for the Day

Prayer for the Day ...

O Thou who art the source of all ...
Whose word creates the substance and the storm,
The moment and the motion,
The span of life and all of love ...
Unto whom we all belong,
In life and in death,
Body and soul,
Here, there and everywhere ...

In times of distress, you speak tenderly to our wary hearts.
When all seems lost, you anchor us in your eternity.
When love blossoms, you laugh with us and feel the joy ... of hope and pleasure, desire and dreams ...

In life, you are a guiding light, and sometimes the luminous darkness of unknowing and wandering ...

In death, you are the final comfort, the beckoning hand, that welcomes and in some strange way, rewinds the clock ...

That which is lost is found.
That which is blind is given sight.

The bound and the broken are released.
The fearful and fatigued are taken in your hand.

When it's dark and cold, Christ is born.
When hateful powers seek his life, escape is made
He's baptized and tested.
Asks a woman for a drink.
Welcomes Mary as a disciple, much to the distress of her bothered sister and to the amazement of the men.

With him, O God, we walk.
We talk and we wonder ... and follow.
As best we can ... with halting steps and faltering faith.
But in faith, as it is, with steps as they are, we reach for the Kingdom of faith, hope and love.

And maybe, O God, we have some tables to overturn, and we'll do it ... fearful maybe, but we'll do it.

As best we can.