14 August 2008

Joseph the Dreamer

By Rev. Susan Kenna
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Genesis 37:1-4,12-28; Psalm 105:1-6,16-22,45b; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33

Please pray. Feed us God, feed us on your word, so that we might be people of hope, especially when the world around us slaps us around and seems to get the upper hand. We thank you for your faithfulness as we live our lives in service to you. Amen.

What I write here is not a well polished sermon, it doesn’t even come close! What I write here are really words to myself. I’ve taken the biblical texts for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time and mused over them for a time. I am thrilled because I found a little gem from each text. Compared to what I do on a daily basis, this musing was a time of play. I share a little bit of me here…the little girl and the grown up adult. …so, come on, play with me!

I have many images in my mind when I think of Joseph and his life’s story in Genesis. Some of the images are from my childhood years when I first heard this story. I picture his coat that is colorful, long sleeved and embellished with ribbons and fringe; a prized part of a wardrobe. I see Joseph the dreamer, the young man whose head is in the clouds and who shares his dreams with others, others who would just as well have him keep his dreams to himself.

But now, along with those innocent childhood images, I see violence, hate, and deceit in Joseph’s story. As glbt persons, it is easy to identify with Joseph; we live on the margins, scorned by all but a few of our sisters and brothers. The good news is that we don’t have to remain marginalized. We can dream. With the gifts God gives each of us, we will continue our work for peace and justice, and in doing so, be blessings to our world, even to those who scorn us.

Consider the gospel and epistle passages for this week too. Paul writes about hearing and believing. There are those who will not believe unless they hear and they will not hear unless some one tells them. We are the ones to speak out and tell those who need to hear. We reiterate what scripture says, that our Lord “is rich enough” (The Jerusalem Bible’s translation) and makes “no distinction.” God cares less about our differences. We all are God’s. God’s love is wide and God’s people are a rainbow.

My youthful thoughts of Peter walking on the stormy water focused on the negative, on his sinking down because of his lack of faith. Now, as one who has experienced stormy times in my life and lived through them, I notice that as Peter focuses on Jesus, he walks on the water too, his sandals don’t get wet. No doubt storms lay ahead of us as in our past. The best we can do is to ride out the storms and go through them as we focus and cling to the divine that is present within us and around us.

Imagine something with me. Imagine all of us on a boat, dripping wet as our colorful, long sleeved, embellished robes cling to our bodies as we ride the waves in the wind and rain, all holding hands with Jesus, laughing and singing because our dreams of inclusiveness and justice have all come true. Imagine!

Reverend Susan

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