Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Proper 27 (32) 2006, Remembrance Day Observed

I've begun a sermon blog, mostly for parish members who would like to take a moment to read my sermons after I've preached them, but I thought readers of Baby Priest might like to read them occasionally as well. Here's part of the first sermon to be posted.
I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to draw some parallels between this passage and the wars we know and remember. The soldier, just like the widow, embodies many things that we could point to as Christian virtue; we can point specifically to the soldier’s willingness to give all they have to what they believe in. The soldier offers all he or she has, including the very laying down of their life for their friend.

And the scribes, at least some of them, the ones willing to devour widows houses for the sake of their own profit, are a lot like the men and women sending soldiers to war for their own profit. Not all wars are simply for profit; some wars are motivated by genuine concern for justice, or concern for the oppressed neighbour. But anyone who justifies war simply for profit, a profit hidden by lies, is no better than the scribe who devours the houses of widows.

But the scribe who may very well devour the houses of widows, and the mechanisms that may send soldiers to war for the profit of others, do not erode the dignity of the widow or of the soldier. Just as the widow has a degree of dignity apart from the scribes that will devour her house, so also the soldier has a dignity apart from the mechanisms of the state that puts them on the battlefield.

Their dignity, and our dignity, is in the self offering of our whole selves, not to the state, or even to the Jerusalem temple, but our whole self-offering, our very lives, to our Lord.
Read the rest.

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