Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sermon: Pentecost 17 - Year C

I read a lot of business books. I find them to be the best source of cultural criticism around. I read them much to the chagrin of my leftier friends and colleagues.

Some books are dry and academic, filled with charts and stats that make my eyes crust over.

Others are the motivational type. Tony Robbins on caffeine pills. These books make my wife roll her eyes in either amusement or bemusement. I can’t tell which.

Most are feet-on-the-pavement practical. Which is the chief reason I read them.

I started reading these books while I was an intern. Which was new for me because I was told that business was about money. Period. And money meant greed. Greed meant oppression. And God wasn’t into greed and oppression. So whatever businesspeople brought to the church table was to be resisted or shunned. At least, that’s what my mentors and professors preached. And I drank the Kool-Aid. I believed unquestioningly.

But suddenly, I wasn’t in a classroom anymore. I wasn’t surrounded by folks who believed what I believed, where we could be as sanctimoniously abstract about the world as we wanted.

Where we could debate the finer points of theology, never letting the messiness of real-world-living interrupt our dissection of a bible verse - in the original Greek, of course.

Where we could pontificate about how sinful the world was – the world being large corporations and certain brands of politicians. Sinners.

The business world and their puppets in Parliament sullied the purity of the church world and were destroying the whole world.

Then I found myself immersed in a church where people expected more than jabbering. Nor were they interested in the self-righteous musings of a snooty-nosed kid who never had a real job. They wanted something more spiritually cavernous than hoity-toity thoughts about God or angry political sloganeering.

They wanted me to DO SOMETHING for the Kingdom. All of a sudden I had programs to develop, meetings to chair, and ministries to oversee. I had people to visit and prayers to pray. And no one was going to hold my hand along the way!

My supervisor then played the best trick – ever - on me. He showed...(the rest here)

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