Meditations and sermons on scripture and faith. Like Adam and Eve, we often feel like exposed and vulnerable strangers.
A Conflict of Understanding
"Reference to the earth in our culture is not individualistic so as to indicate ownership. Our words indicate sharing and belonging to the earth. The coming of Europeans to the land which we used in North America meant a conflict of understanding which centres on the ownership of land. The initial misunderstanding is not surprising, since the first immigrants thought of themselves as coming to take 'possession' of a 'vacant, pagan land'. The incredible fact is that this perception continues after five centuries. Equally surprising has been the historical role of the Christian church in this process of colonization, which basically was a dividing up of the earth so it could be a possession."
From "An Aboriginal Perspective on the Integrity of Creation" in Ecotheology: Voices From South and North; 1994
No longer do we worship a golden calf; now we worship Egypt from whence came the gold, and we bow before Aaron who shaped it into an acceptable form. In the evolving American state-religion, maximizing profits regardless of the socio/economic/environmental costs is becoming not just a sacrosanct right, but a sacred and patriotic duty.
"The Bible makes clear a basic truth that we self-centered humans find difficult to accept, namely, that the natural universe was not created primarily for us. There is no doubt that God wants us to enjoy it and even use its resources to optimize a good life for ourselves. But the ultimate purpose of creation is worship. Nature and all living things were created to glorify God." Tony Campolo
In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus calls fishermen to go "fishing" with him; unlike John, which has Jesus gathering disciples from other rabbis or from people passing by. Doctor Luke's detailed account is unlike the Reader's Digest versions we have from Mark and Matthew - Luke emphasizes relationship building (Luke 4:38-5:11).
1. Jesus first heals Simon's Mother-in-Law. 2. Jesus then asks Simon for a favor, so Simon takes Jesus out in his boat. 3. Simon's business partners, James and John, take their boat out as well, because Simon does. 4. After Jesus completes his sermon to those on the shore, he suggests that the fishermen lower their nets. 5. Even though everyone is tired, and the best fishing is not in the middle of the day, Simon agrees because he and Jesus have developed a relationship of trust. 6. So many fish fill the nets, that there is a danger of the boats being swamped. Simon recognizes that Jesus is more than just a Teacher and Healer, and he honors…