Ptooey! - Reflections - 11-2-16

 Texts for Sunday, November 6, 2016
 All Saints Sunday
Look out! They spit!

 Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18

 Psalm 149
 Ephesians 1:11-23
 Luke 6:20-13

Both the “p” and the “t” get pronounced.
Saw a lot of ptooey-ing in the world series…. Aka, spitting.

Strangely enough that random statement has relevance for this week’s gospel text. The Greek word for the poor people in v. 20 is ptochi. Yes, it comes from the same root as ptooey/spitting; that provides a clue of just how highly regarded in society they aren’t.

This particular story is a couple of chapters later than the text assigned for January 24, 2016. Jesus is establishing his mission. In the chapters between these two readings, Jesus has been healing, teaching, and choosing disciples. Jesus is addressing those disciples when he begins speaking at the start of our reading. What isn’t necessarily evident because of where we start is that he is surrounded by "a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon"… in fact this is Luke’s version of the sermon on the mount called the sermon on the plain because they are standing on a level place. So, you can imagine some people probably overheard him.

This radical and very Lukan scene contrasts the divisions in society with those considered the lowest being lifted up – blessed are – and those considered highest being brought low – woe to. It connects with Mary’s song in chapter 1 which says that turning the world upside down reveals God’s justice…and mercy.

Then we turn verses 27-31. Jesus indicates that this part is for all who are listening, O Crowd standing around – and O Crowd in 2016 reading these words… 

Love, bless, pray all those dirty rotten rats? Offer the other cheek? Give away my stuff? Now that whole “world upside down” is getting a bit personal… and impossible?  Can I find the humility, vulnerability, and remorse to even come close? 

New York Times best-selling author Ann Voskamp wrote a great reflection about loving your enemies. It is worth the click, and may bring a prayer to your heart.

Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

You can find more reflections on these texts in the GIFT post for Sunday 11/6/16.

Sorry...couldn't resist.

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Iowa City, IA 52245