Monday, May 4, 2009

Hunger is not a metaphor!

I'm preaching two services on Sunday: 11am at St. Francis and 6pm at Grace Cathedral

Since I'll be at an Episcopal service in the afternoon, I thought I'd talk about the Episcopal Psalm Reading: Psalm 22:24-30

I happen to like the entire Psalm and wish that it was read together. Note the omission of verse 31 which proclaims "deliverance to a people yet unborn." Such a beautiful promise. We can't even imagine the things that God(dess) can and will do in the world.

And yet the promise that the poor shall eat and be satisfied (v.26) seems to be beyond our grasp. So often preachers turn promises of hunger being filled into metaphors about a spiritual reality. The Psalmist, like Isaiah, seems to get it that we all are equal in our need to eat food. We all have stomachs. Regardless of what we eat and if we ever get to feel full, we all require nutrients to live. In a world with so much to grumble about - there seems to be nothing more consistently biblical than people grumbling at God(dess) - God(dess) promises that we will be satisfied.

The feeling of satisfaction is not one we get very often. In a world where bigger, better and faster is just around the corner it's no wonder that popular musicians proclaim: "I can't get no, satisfaction." That could be our modern day mantra.

And yet God(dess)'s constant refrain of "peace, be still" continuously meets our perpetual "not enough" space. Stop and smell the flowers. Stop and notice the satisfaction of a meal you eat. The taste and texture are meant to be enjoyed. And in all the moments that we truly do not have "enough," or the privledge to reflect we can remember the promise of what is coming.

It is our obligation to confront those who are content to let biblical promises of satisfying hunger and God(dess)'s groining for justice become metaphors (another way of saying permission to not act).

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