Monday, May 30, 2016

2 Pentecost: I am not worthy

Notes for 2 Pentecost

Some factoids about Capernaum and Centurions

Capernaum was small - fishing village - like Wheeler

Everyone knew everyone.

Centurions earned 17x what regular soldiers earned. Mostly led units of around 100 but could oversee more units

it was a way to make a life for yourself and family - that was not otherwise open - like USA military. But you led your troops in battle and stood out in your special gear - so dangerous - but if you survived you had a nice retirement.

This one was loved -- even tho the enemy - the hated Romans. He knew their traditions - he built their synagogue - buildings and houses were built of basalt -- mostly one story.

Why would he think he was not worthy?
He had lots going for him -- money, position, honor, but still he says "I am not worthy"
could be because he knew Jewish traditions about mixing with gentiles but I think it touches on many peoples' send that they are not worthy. Even those who seem to have it all - and act like they own the world.

Kafka says "There is only one thing certain, that is one's own inadequacy"

Our culture is one of "measuring up" from childhood we hear -- he-she -- "not quite"  hair too curly too straight, Too tall, too short, too much wrong color, wrong accent, too much education - not enough. etc etc

So though created in the image of God - we still dwell on the unworthy bits. We name ourselves and others -- Oh she is (fill in the blank) or I am ....  mostly bad things.  And since we feel bad about ourselves -- we look for those who are worse in our eyes. Well I am bad but not as bad as xxx

The internal critic constantly at work.
Jesus  cuts through all that - and reaches our hearts and say "beloved" -- you are worthy - does not matter, enemy, woman, outsider, insider  - all created in the image of God the one who is named I AM -- who sees our true I AM -- and interestingly in Hebrew - those words can also be "I am becoming who I am becoming" -- God wants to to become the fullness of how God sees us. Paul says don't believe those people who bring you a bad Gospel.

What are some ways to silence the internal critic?
a prayer practice from both Christian and Buddhist traditions.

1. spend time thinking kind and loving thoughts about yourself - don't focus on faults or shortcomings - focus on how beloved you are in the eyes of God.

2. After doing that for a week or so -- keep praying for yourself but add people who are easy for you to love and think kindly about

3. Then add those who are more difficult - who make you a little crazy

4. Then add ones you really feel have wounded you and you hate -- (this exercise is not about forgiving them - just holding them up to God with kindness)

5. Move out to the world and creation -- always start with self - as in the Lord's prayer - Love God and your neighbor as YOURSELF.

A youtube video of the prayer

The collect for Sunday

O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This appeared in my mail Sunday morning so I added some of this too.