Topics swirling in mind, all but One of them as a crank.
The One on which I am fully qualified to speak is that this morning we return to the part of our Revised Common Lectionary, so-called “Track One” in which our First Reading, the lesson from the Old Testament, is a Bible story in its own right and does not have the OT reading’s customary link to the Gospel reading for the day. I like this new feature of the RCL, because I enjoy hearing again Bible stories that I remember from Sunday school of my childhood. This morning we shall read the story of Ishmael and his mother Hagar being cast out of the family at the insistence of Abraham’s wife Sarah. Most of our congregation will be away, enjoying our annual parish adventure Shell Island Sunday, billed interestingly as “Father, Son and Holy Coast.” While they are baptizing and feasting, the few of us, the last surviving remnant of the one true church, will have our usual gatherings at eight o’clock and ten-thirty. I will be chief mouse, officiating while the cat’s away, and I intend to talk about the Abrahamic story.
Swirling around otherwise in my troubled mind, my anguish about the children crossing our southern border, from terrible conditions in their homelands. We are a nation of immigrants in a country that people are willing to die to enter, the opposite of every other major nation. Only in America. My feelings about the children are that -- I’m glad it’s someone else’s problem to face; I pray that it will be handled with chesed, lovingkindness regardless of cost to us; and I only wish my house were big enough to accommodate every single child.
The other major thing is extreme anxiety about the 300 American troops being sent to Iraq to “advise and assist” the repelling of the ISIS invasion. It’s a religious civil war where we have no business. The leader of a key Shia faction, al-Sadr, has said he can’t wait for the Americans to return so he can resume killing us. We resume protecting Maliki the sectarian despot. This business of “advisors” was our then-presidents’ rationale and ticket into Vietnam, how soon we forget. My view was expressed by someone who this week said Not one more life. Not one more life. Not one more plane. Not one more life. Not one more gun. Not one more Marine. Not one more body bag. Not one more life.