Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cycles, both Seasonal and Spiritual

As I've been watching the moon move to fullness, I've been thinking about the last time I saw the full moon:  when I was at Mepkin Abbey.  A month ago, I'd have already been on the road for a few hours.

My brain is also thinking about the future--soon, summer will be over.  I'm seeing displays of school supplies in the stores already, and I confess to wishing it was time to decorate for Christmas.  Part of it is the relentless heat.  Part of it is my inner restlessness--learning to enjoy the season I'm in will be my lifetime task, I suspect.

I've been thinking about other times I was struck by the full moon--when we first moved to this house, I became much more aware of which phase the moon was in.  One October, I couldn't get enough of that huge full moon.  I felt like it watched over me as I worked as a new adjunct faculty member to understand how the online system worked.

Now, too, I'm learning a different online system:  having avoided the Blackboard learning management system for my whole teaching life, now my spouse is newly hired as an adjunct and needs to come up to speed quickly, so we're working on it as a group project.

I think about the next time the moon will be full.  We'll have hosted camp counselors who are coming at the end of July to run a VBS program at my church.  We'll know if a former colleague wants to live in the cottage.  We'll be getting ready for an end-of-summer visit from my sister and nephew.  At work, we'll know how our numbers are sorting out.

Let me focus on the day at hand.  Soon I will head to church to lead services today so that my pastor can enjoy some vacation time.  When I agreed to do it, July 9 seemed so far into the future.  We are finishing a sermon series on The Sermon on the Mount.  Today's reading is about turning the other cheek.  I will be introducing the congregation to the work of Walter Wink, who sees this text from Matthew as a resistance text. 

You might have been taught that it preaches passivity in the face of violence.  Wink argues that this text shows us how to resist evil in such a way that evil elements will not turn around and destroy us and how to resist evil in such a way that we don’t become the evil that we are resisting.

For more, see this post on my theology blog.

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