Year A - Pentecost +5 or Community Practice 5
July 13, 2014
In light of the parable of the sower we would claim the problem was that Rebekah was some blackbird she-devil, ultra-frigid, or shallow beyond belief. Obviously barrenness is a situation that calls out for a prayer that will call out G*D.
If we were to take a second look, beyond our culture’s male privilege, we might see low motile sperm that did not have vitality traced back shock to a newly hormonal Isaac all but sacrificed. His body’s reaction, “I’m never going to try that with a child, no children for me.”
Here the storyline is that such that Isaac had a conversion experience to wanting a child or at least wanting Rebekah to not be embarrassed by not having a child and a prayer was more than answered. It was as if G*D says, “OK, you want to play games around conception, here’s a trick for you.”
In usual circumstances sowing millions of sperm get you a yield of (1) one. Here it doubled that, but still pretty profligate sowing. If it was prayer, perhaps we can say (1) one prayer yielded a yield of (2) two. When “division” is factored in, we may be at a final yield of (1/2) one-half.
So where does all this silly playing around get us, beyond a doctoral thesis? First, that parables are tricky when applied to a particular situation. Second, we still attribute qualities to physical characteristics (ginger ruddiness) or situations that call forth a nickname (Jealous Jacob).
From almost sacrificed Isaac we get Jacob, whose sons almost sacrificed one of their own. And how much further have we grown in our divisions and sacrifice of one another? Consider the schism talk in The United Methodist Church and its sacrifice of LGBTQ persons.