Friday, July 11, 2014

Romans 8:1-11

Year A - Pentecost +5 or Community Practice 5
July 13, 2014

A seed sown and eaten by a bird will go through that bird and become fertilizer for another seed at another location. Not a very efficient system, but consistent with profligate sowing.

How is this like Jesus’ teachings running through you?

Seed sown on rocky ground does a bit of growing before failing and yet that very failure is added to, seed by seed, until fertile soil overlays the rock. Not a very fast system, but consistent with a natural evolution of an environment as well well as natural life processes of an individual.

How is this like Jesus’ teachings slowly growing within until their evidence is unmistakable?

Seed sown amid tall and virile weeds has the toughest job of all. It is safe from predators gobbling it quickly and shaded from desiccation. These very mechanisms that might seem so ideal are eventually seen as unhealthy constraints. Cultures focused on safety from particular dangers bring their own death. Not only can’t birds sneak into a weedy patch, but the weeds block needed sun and suck up needed water with deeper and wider roots. The result is the same, though different. From too much sun to too little; from no water to water available but not accessible. 

How is this like Jesus’ teachings that clarify the dangers of too many laws springing up?

These variant readings complicate Paul’s attempt to simplify relationships and thus do an injustice to the dynamism of Spirit. Christ simply sows and seeds even when the results seem so lacking. To measure things dualistically ( are not in the flesh, you are in the spirit ... no Spirit, no connection....) is to miss the mystery of resurrection, the power of pentecost, and the joy of everyday everydayness where everything is interconnected, not separated out.

I suspect that what folks see as failed seeds tickles G*D’s fancy as a different scale is used—being sown vs. cultural success. Here abundance in the sowing is far more evocative than even a hundred fold increase of some portion of the planting. To set our minds on the things of fleshy seeds and how they serve even in dying is a process to raise Spirit and decrease privilege.

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