Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morning Prayer Sermon in COTA

Read this first, really, read it: Luke 15:1-10
No, no, no!

No Jesus. In fact, if I had one hundred sheep, and lost one, I would NOT go looking for it. And neither would anyone else!

Jesus, look, I know you are just a carpenter, and I guess that others handle the money for you, or something, they must, because you show complete ignorance of the realities of a market economy.

One sheep for ninety-nine? Are you kidding? It’s too risky! Now I know that you are from Nazareth! One sheep, that’s a one percent loss, one percent! That’s acceptable, that’s better than acceptable, that’s great!

Rabbi, you cannot be serious! You would leave the other 99, really? Please. You’re talking about a shepherding situation here, right? So what happens to the others, sheep aren’t corralled you know? You just leave them alone to get the one? What about wolves? What about thieves? What about the general stupidity of the sheep? You would honestly leave the other sheep? You know, it’s not fair to those sheep!

That’s it! You’re being unfair. The one sheep does not deserve to be looked after in such a wasteful manner. It’s extravagant!

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Now, now, no, no, don’t change the subject. I don’t want to hear about some lady’s lost coin, let’s talk about these sheep. Look, I get it, ok. You’re trying to making a point about you eating with these sinners. But your premise is all wrong, don’t you see that? It makes no sense. The risk! Don’t you see that there is no utility, no virtue, and certainly no duty in going after that one lost sheep? One percent!

Jesus, please listen to reason, it is not right for us to be here with these sinners. You see, these sheep, . . . I mean theses sinners, they don’t deserve . . . Jesus, really, you’re a good rhetorician, I like your style, I like your stories, but this one, this one with the sheep and that utterly irresponsible and ultimately unfair shepherd, it’s too much. It’s just too much to believe.

You would do better, in this story to secure the other 99, have the shepherd corral those sheep first, you see. That would remove all doubt about the foolishness of that shepherd, change that and you’ve got something. No, Jesus, what you really need is an editor. That shepherd, he’s just too much; he’s unfair and dangerously risky.

I mean, in your example, who is this one sheep? Might I assume that I, a Pharisee, that has lived under, and expanded the law, am fully righteous in the eyes of the Almighty, what about me? Am I a one or a am I a 99? Am I the lost, that God comes to find, or am I one of the 99 that get left?

What? Say again.
I might be the shepherd? But that’s . . . well I . . . but. . .
That shepherd, me? That shepherd, he’s too much, me? But, he’s so risky!

Well, I think I interrupted you back there, you wanted to change the subject, something about a lost coin . . .