Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Burden We Deserve
Don't do well with apologies around here.
Maybe I am not sorry but I want to make it right.
This is a sermon that may just be called a confession. If you have ever been to a regular old Christian Church you will know about a few words said by the leader. Some quiet time with the intent of some kind of confession of sins to God. I reckon when being a preacher man I used to nearly weep. For a few years back in the last century I suppose I wept because I felt so bad to God that I was such a no good for nothing sinner. But something happened in the years of being a lay minister. At some crazy point I guess I finally fell down and recited over and over “forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who have trespassed against me”. But by golly for love’s sake I could not remember or even know all my trespasses. Was I damned?
Back a bit. I have no regrets. Every time I think of my booboos or great indiscretions or just down right wrongs I am forced to see four children that are near perfect and I have been there as their dad. Just think of it – one wrong that I may have not committed may have altered their grace. One illness or serious injury that I may have not suffered could have changed the outcome of beauty and love.
But did a flap of wind that I caused, cause another to lose his hat and be cold. Or did my arrogance and bombastic younger years steal a proper self esteem from a person not deserving of such. Or at an important time when I was on my game did I give a man the importance to do something that actually cause harm. Now remember my friends we are not talking regrets. We may not change the past – or can we? Certainly not go back and undue what the heck we did.
But if we try hard we can review, reflect and repent and then do something better than what the Bocephus we did wrong. We can touch our lover’s or a stranger’s hand and make things better. Well in some way we can do something to make our past wrongs into a better than what they were situation.
Hang on let us listen to some tunes and look at a photo.
I have always been between doing what is so right it is heroic. And my cowardly way.
I remember this day, big sister took the picture at a temple type retreat. That little guy told me how surfers surf and Pelicans fly.
Do children get a free pass in the "right" department?
Sorry to tell you we are not talking about amends here. “oh I am sorry here is the 100 buckaroos I owe you from 1980”. How trivial. Oh sure someone might think us a changed man, but far more important to those we may have trespassed against is to make it right somehow – nope not right but better. I think in 1971 I did something wrong to someone that caused her to do something wrong to another. That there is bad jo jo. Ah, for sure having a degree in philosophy I get all the Dharma and Karma. But that is selfish stuff. That is like feeding the hungry so you get an award from the mayor. Not happening in the world of real spirituality and love.
There is this most marvelous concept that I had to look into quite heavily as I prepared to teach youth. Or is that preach to youth? Holy cow I hope it was to learn with youth though I wore a silly robe. I think I really learned it of all places being a ski instructor for children – 3 and up. And then at a really weird place called Dartmouth in a study program for totally crazy children. These children were wacked but had rich parents so they could afford our program as opposed to looney bin lock up for juveniles. Ok, a strange background for my Biblical point. This is in Luke 17 I think: It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Think hard on that one please. I hope you are thinking of children that you affect today as an adult reading this. And I feel so much the same. But then I laugh at myself and question if I had a free pass when I was child. The theological concept is not restricted to adults treating children. It is also one of the only concepts that requires the child to treat the other child RIGHT. This may sound strange so let us take another healthy music break. How about that great song “imagine” – apologies to Catholics.
Imagine if "today" you get make right wrongs. It would be the ultimate "now".
Oh I am not so sure about Religious Baptism - too many rules.
Hell hath no fury -- but love has no competition.
So here is the part in the sermon where I ask you to leave your easy chair and not quite fly away with me but put a day dream in your heart and a butterfly in your mind. What wonderful words “What if”. If I could turn back the hands of time and correct my wrongs yet not change the current beauty of my life, would I do it? Yes but it is not possible. The energy of the cow giving birth in Crimea changes the air enough to affect the butterfly at my feeder just above Mexico, or maybe not. Something to think about. So there is this wonderful dichotomy that you are charged with. Should you change the past though it may have negative impact on the future? Morally of course – you should, why? Because you can again change the future before happens.
OK I am messing with you, that is deep enough for a vortex advertisement for a whoo whoo retreat. But the answer to such deep thought is a God. Slow down here I am not talking about a vengeful old man on a throne. I am talking about that link between us that just has no other name than love. This 100% global phenomenon called love. Bubba let me tell you I have been in the largest garbage dump in the world where over three hundred people live in horrible poverty. I have sat on a river where people drink and bath yet corpses float by. I have been where war has left people in “reeducation camps” without food. I have seen the inner cities like Quartier Pigalle where life is not a thing of value. But there was always one thing present – Love. So just assume that perhaps this immeasurable God thing is the only thing omnipresent and omnipotent. Well tie my leg behind my back and challenge me to a butt kicking contest. I will win on this because it is unassailable.
Oh let us squeeze in one more song before I leave you with something to challenge me with and I hope y’all do.
I do declare I got a hankerin. There is a man that is all of our grandfathers. They deserve our respect and I hope your find time today to be good to one. One 9
Oh do figure about the time I was born -- more like Frank Donald and Jim Christianson and James Joyce. I reckon those all best pards. And I do think they were r
Hey buddy it is not to late to be great children.
I had dinner with my 6 year old just the other night. Mom was working hard as a good field horse and as pretty as a queen of Monaco. My son who already has challenged the concept that Christ was not an angel, and can beat me at chess, asked point blank. Dad, I understand man does evil: “but why doesn’t he fix it?”. I squinted my eyes and told him “each man can”.
Let me end with this. It is awkward as I cannot remember her name. Her brother beat me up pretty good, like with a busted nose and a black eye and a busted rib. I somehow remember her as Nina. Irving was for sure her family name and do not even take issue with that. Oh my Lordy she was a queen of the ball. She just kind of sparkled and left me mesmerized by her African beauty. Kind of between temptress and queen of the Nile. She gave me great honor and privilege to a matter of great state importance. She, I do believe was doing something amazing. Perhaps it was something like Miss Arizona. But to me it was Miss Universe and beyond. Oh not the beauty queen concept but the best of the best of the best. I do not think I thanked her enough for the honor. I hope it did not hurt her life in any way.
Somebody fill me in.
Was Ms. Irving the first lady in Arizona to bust the racial barrier to be considered for a state wide competition of composure and grace?