Eric's Sunday Sermon; Getting Beyond a Traditional View of God Only as Your Better
The Child Within Us Must Be Cherished, Not Grown Out Of
Hey! This is True! Some People Actually Use Physical Violence on a Child? Now That is Pure Sickness and Evil.
There is a funny thing about most kids fearing their father. In my experience that is wrongful. It is like when it is time to do something, the clock is the boss not the enforcing parent. If there be fault that it is time to go to school – it is the clocks fault and father time. If there are rules to be honored and one breaks the rules it is the fault of the rule’s or the offender not the strong father that enforces them.
This must be pounded into the head of a youngster lest he think that the authority over him is bad or to be feared. It must be understood that the code of honor is not one of fear. The only real failure that can be is the fear of not doing our best. If you cheat, the guilt, the dissatisfaction with winning and the self hate talk in the head are to be feared. The consequence of punishment can even be seen as a relief/release of shame into one’s heart. This is poor thought.
There are enough federal rules and regulations and statutes that if stacked together are taller than the Washington memorial. Would that be 95 thousand or so pages – certainly not 95 million or maybe it is. And what difference would it really make.
I just love three over used concepts “rules are made to be broken” and “But everyone else is doing it” and “think outside the box”. The code of Hammurabi was two burdensome but laid in a great purpose. Knowing the law leaves one free from worry. Abraham Lincoln said to the effect “obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. The Ten Commandments fit into two stone tablets. If a lawyer relies on the wording of a law without reading the history of why it was written he is but an empty gong in the field of Jurisprudence. And likewise, a preacher who cannot discuss the Law of God but only preach it, he also is a song without music.
And so the authoritarian father or Father is nothing if there is not common respect. There simply must be a feeling deep inside that, that which we worship respects us also. Perhaps we can explain it thusly. I am fearful to publish my writings. So many are “so not worthy” in my eyes. But good, bad or indifferent I am clothed with some ability to write. I stress over hitting the button to publish. And so I must somehow respect my work as worthy. Not wallow in some ego driven morass that I do not respect my work. If I made something and cannot respect it I am nothing.
Please take note here
Mary nods and Christ Child smiles. We sometimes miss those to signs of respect. How can a gift no matter how small not reflect a mutual respect?
An Important Song
Respect for Nature?
Even Our Homeless Must Be Respected
And so those of us who believe we are made and not just hatched, we must accept that our maker is equally respectful of us. Not ashamed to set forward or to show. God respects God’s work. I respect the talents given me and must not ever put a lampshade over my flame.
How then can some claim that the respect is not mutual via love? Can I move forward in my relationship with my child if I do not fully respect her and her talents? How can I lift her up above me without a mutual admiration? Here is a weird one with my youngest. He is “given” free time to play outside by himself (actually told not given). And he creates a world in which to play. Dragons slayed and kings obeyed. Maybe I am too old, but far more than most 60 year olds, using imagery meditation I can transport my visions. But the boy is far more adept at imagination than I. So who should be respected? He laughs in pure joy more than I, so who should be respected. He, through exercise is in better shape than I for his weight and height, so who should be respected. He makes my wife giggle and laugh more than I. So who should be respected? The child with eyes wide open to marvels of life or the old man jaded?
I was doing some time at the best foodbank in all of the world. I was not there to serve in my preacher man capacity, the endeavor was secular. It was simple as I asked who the boss was. There was someone in charge who was dealing with a less than normal attitude. Homeless and clearly off meds. I loudly asked the person in charge if I could be of assistance as she had much to do and was needed elsewhere. The crazy man and I locked eyes. Surmising who was crazier. A cup of Joe for both of us. I was not allowed there in my preacher man capacity. So talk was cheap and caring a luxury.
Funny thing but we had 3 guys and 2 women with us at the close of the “soup line”. You don’t give out numbers you give out “handles” like “Bad Dog” and “Lilly Cup”. We agreed to bring a friend and meet up next Thursday “right there and then”. (did you know you can buy a good blanket at the DAV for like 2 buckaroos? You pick up five and the price goes down) you toss ‘em down on the bench and suggest you heard they were free from some rich dude. No charity, just a write off. They get it and they are a bit warmer for a night or so.
Just a "Little Bit".
Give Some Respect
Respect Respects Respect
So I think that brings us back to where we started. Do you do anyone any great service by being better than them? In a certain sense the answer is yes. A kind of notion that says “if I can do it so can you”. But only in that very tiny window of example not lauding. My years of coaching taught me quite clearly that ordering the athlete around was lame. It has to be posited as “if we do this then we can accomplish this”.
What of God? I must admit that I have never been ordered to do something by God. Clearly you have in general commandments like to love God and your neighbor and even your enemy and do not lie or kill people. Interesting but I do not have to be ordered to do or not do certain things. I have noticed that somewhere between 7 and 9 years of age, children who consider themselves worthy of helping just do it. Just yesterday my son and I were switching cars. Without a word from me he has his booster seat and bottle of water in hand.
If we are in this with God then we need to partner up. We need to just plain instinctively do the right thing so God does not have to tell us to do it. If we do that then we are on equal footing with God. Did you ever sit down to think that we do stuff for God? For sure. We love for God. And at least in my case God does stuff for me, including loving me. This is quite the same as a father and a child. If we respect the child the child will learn to respect himself and others. How much more is that true with our Father in Heaven? Respect garners respect and love produces love. So we need to step up and try to be like God. Did you ever consider that prayer is an encouragement to God?
If you read this, you showed me, perhaps more respect than I am entitled.