“Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
We are coming to the end of an indulgent weekend-away A spa-hotel complete with all the luxuries necessary to indulge. And my ears all bunged-up again from the swimming, sauna and steam-room. That punchline to the The Parable of the Sower made me chuckle this morning. I have ears – but not “hearing” temporarily has some advantages …
Last night celebrations went on well past midnight. Smokers now obliged to smoke anywhere but indoors. And by that time of night all fuelled with loud laughter and hilarious conversation. Hardly heard them. This morning – with some sign language along the way – my wife told me the hotel cleaning crew had been busy Very Early!! cleaning up the smokers’ space from last night. Never heard a thing!
Jesus the Bread of Life … this what I heard reading those verses: “Rabbi when did you get here … what must we do … what sign will you give us … what will you do … always give us this bread … they grumbled … they argued … this is a hard teaching … many no longer followed him … to whom shall we go … “
To whom shall we go.
This is what I heard this morning not hearing those verses as taught …
”Those ears of corn that grow in good soil … ? Those few loaves (of ears of corn that have grown in good soil) that fed so many … ? Are those two “parables” not connected? Is the searching for my power … asking for the evidence … misreading the “evidence” of my “power” … the (qualified) theological arguing … the religious grumbling … the insistence that “we must have hard teaching – love is not enough” … the many who seek love and are rejected by a church that prefers “hard teaching” of rules and membership and keeping-up appearances … who stop “following” because the qualified theological teaching is not of love without condition but of judgement and condition … of investment and reward … of sacrifice and burden now in exchange for the Promised Heaven later … the many who seek love yet are taught that “love” is impossible in this lifetime … who are taught you are a sinner who cannot be anything but a sinner in this lifetime … that those who have found love outside of church have not found anything at all … that those outside of church must leave love without condition to forever love only with condition in this lifetime … that following me is a really shitty calling but look at the benefits … that “following me” is so damn difficult that only the Chosen Few will have the stomach and stamina to “follow me” at all …
And that “that” is having ears that hear. That “that” is The Great Commission. That “that” is being a good Christian. And as today is Sunday – get out your Sunday best and turn up for an hour of being seen to be a good Christian. Because that is what I really want. What I really really want. Really … really … really … ?
Play the cartoon, Paul, and then run the “worship music” please … “