Sunday, February 28, 2016


Especially if something has occurred to journal or blog of a morning, I avoid opening email or news first thing, as doing so instantly sweeps the mind. Best avoided, the outside world shades, dims, ability to focus. Bibel und Zeitung doesn’t always work well this early. Meaning to have a go at today’s gospel, I quickly browsed today’s news anyway, and that was that. Luke would have been better:

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9

1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 2 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? 3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

6 He told this parable, 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. 7 He said to his vinedresser, "For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" 8 "Sir," the man replied, "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: 9 it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”

That, at least the parable (13:6-9), could easily be taken into the politics of the presidential election. I hugely disappreciate hesitant micromanagement of war, and I'm uneasy about all the manure being spread around the nonproductive fig tree; but I’m most wary of what is seeming to be meant by the slogan “make America great again,” and slogans are just the beginnings of the birthpangs. America is great, and my German is not good enough to follow the link I uneasily sense between early 20th century and early 21st century maniacal rubbish, not to repeat skybalon, being passed as rhetoric; and it seems true that hysterically shouting loud and confident still brings the crowds to their feet saluting and screaming. Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes, and sure enough, they do. God help us. Please.

At this point in Luke’s gospel, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, teaching, healing, preaching along the way. Looking back at what precedes “it was just about this time” confirms that some of the preaching is discomfitingly apocalyptic. Who besides me is uneasy no matter what or who?


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