Where did we first learn to idolize fairness? Maybe it was in math class: a nickel equals five pennies, no more and no less. If someone gives you four pennies for your nickel, you’ve been robbed. Of course, fewer of us object if someone gives us six pennies for the same nickel.
Exploring the Word
I teach 10-year-olds their catechism. It’s the hardest job in the world, or so it seems each week as I prepare to face the children. After a lifetime as an adult religious educator—a cakewalk by comparison—I feel thrown into the lion’s den as a parish volunteer.
Paul says something remarkable rather simply today—worth noting, since Paul says a lot of remarkable things that sound like gobbledygoop when translated from Greek to English by way of Latin, as these texts come to us. In Romans, Paul shows off a lifetime summarization of his Christology, which gets quite esoteric at times.
It’s Labor Day weekend! Who wants to work? Nobody in their right mind. Of course, plenty of people in our society will be working right through the weekend so the rest of us can relax and tend to our barbeques. They make the sacrifice; we get the benefit.
Some days, Jesus is my Lord. Other days, I’m the only authority to which I answer. Which day is which is probably more obvious to folks around me than it is to me. From within the borders of self-involvement, all you can see is yourself.
We’re the church, a people on a mission: to bring good news wherever it’s yet to be heard. We know what to do. We may be less clear on how to do it. Our resolve might be weak. And then there’s the question: Just how far does this mission extend? What are the limits of our responsibility, at which point we might reasonably claim: Mission accomplished?
We find Jesus again where we encountered him last week—up a mountain, communing with God. This time he goes alone, sending his friends along ahead to the opposite shore. And, as usual, no sooner are his followers out on their own before they’re into trouble.
Today the world commemorates what remains the ultimate demonstration of worldly might and power: the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, by the United States in 1945. Nagasaki was also bombed three days later. Seventy thousand Japanese men, women, and children were killed at once.
Do we love the way of God, or simply tolerate it? This is a question I ask myself every time I read Psalm 119. It’s the Law Psalm, delineating in acrostic fashion all the reasons why the commands of God are worthy and desirable. Each acrostic spells out a Hebrew word for Torah, including: word, law, commandment, rules, decree, precepts, and teaching.
It’s rare that a motion in D.C. gets bipartisan support. But instituting Parents’ Day on the fourth Sunday of July to “recognize, uplift, and support the role of parents in the rearing of children" did just that in 1994. No matter how we vote on Election Day, every day of the year parents deserve our thanks for doing the toughest and most vital job in America: preparing the future.