Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 19, 2020
The Sixth Sunday after Trinity
(Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Matthew 13:24-43)
As we once again are shut down due to escalating positive tests for Covid-19 here in California, and again I write for “virtual congregation,” and from reading the Gospel assigned to us today,  I thought of a topic that may seem to not match, but hey, I am weird. However, in the world we have currently, I think it is a good topic for us.
As I have done a couple times recently, I want you to picture a mental image. There is a large wheel shaped stone in a garden, roughly 8’ in diameter and a foot thick. The stone is one that could have been used to seal an entrance to a tomb many centuries ago. And so, I ask you to go to the stone and to try to move it. The stone doesn’t budge.
I tell you to try harder. You try again, but still nothing. I tell you, “just a little bit harder.” You push with all your strength and, finally, the stone rolled just a little.
What would this show you? Aside from you probably being a little bit out of shape?
You were trying to move an item at rest. A large item at rest. It takes a large amount of momentum. It requires a new action. In order to begin this momentum, it requires you to concentrate all of your strength into moving the stone just a few inches. That’s how physics works.
So, this is how you get a ball… errr a stone rolling, but what does this have to do with you and me? Basically, the same law of momentum applies in a spiritual realm as well. By moving the stone, you cause a change. A change in that you cause it to move and a change because by making it roll, it will thus be in a new location.
Change means new action, new motion, and a new momentum. Let’s face it, the universe is against change and against a change of momentum. Humans are no different. Some of us resist change even to an astronomical point of view. To make a change in our lives requires a great deal of power, energy, decision making, thought, focus and resolve – even to make small changes. The bigger the change, the bigger of an effort needed.
To make changes in our lives, or anything we may speak of, is to sometimes take small, but concerted, steps. And move from that step to the next. Moses’ first step after being called by God was to take off his sandals. The Apostles dropped their nets. Change takes steps. To be good Christians, we often need to change.
We are living in a time of various unrest. We have an epidemic going on, yet many carry on as if there is not. They will blatantly refuse to wear masks, nor follow social distancing or even use hand sanitizer. We have a large problem with racial discrimination – in fact, when we get right down to it, discrimination of many kinds, not just race. However, black lives have really suffered considerably. We have government officials that seem to think they know better than scientists and medical experts. Officials who even seem to push an agenda that is unhealthy. But, are we acting any better?
We must face the fact that our world, and thus our lives, require change. What is so hard about wearing a mask? Granted, they are not ascetically appealing, nor very comfortable, but our lives and the lives of others depend on it! Any of us could be asymptomatic and carry the virus and be spreading it around. We hear many say that it is their right to not wear a mask. However, it is my right to not want to get sick, and you are infringing on it by refusing to wear a mask around me! You do not have a right to cause harm to my person or anyone else! It is all of our rights to want to get back to some form of normalcy and live, but we cannot do so until we make a change.
Many, if not most, of us hate change. It isn’t fun. I have had 3 years of nothing but change, and not always good, but change all the same. If we all want to be free from wearing masks and practicing social distance, then we need to do both for as long as the medical professionals ask us to, or we will never be able to go back to any form of what was! If one does not care enough about their own life to wear a mask, we should at the very least care enough about others around us.
Like Moses with his sandals, and the Apostles with their nets, our Lord asks us all to change. The Holy Scriptures are full of God asking us to change. We may find it inconvenient, but in the end, our life is not our own. We are only here as long as the good Lord desires us to be, or given His allowance of our free will, as long as we allow ourselves to be here. Meaning, we need to take care of ourselves and each other if we expect to make it past the virus and systemic racism and other ills that plaque us.
We need to change. We need to all become good Samaritans and stop bucking the system. Stop trying to force your resistance down someone else’s throat, and put on the mask, be a good Samaritan, be a good neighbor regardless of race, creed, sexual preference or identity, political party, yada, yada, yada!
I dislike wearing a mask, but I wear one all the same. Some people simply rub me the wrong way, but they are still my neighbor and we are all creatures of God, not dirt we stomp our feet on. They still deserve your respect.
We must all change. We all must push on the stone wheel until we make it move. We all have our sins and addictions that do not get any better until we roll the stone. Let us all make a concerted effort to move the stone – to change for the better. Get rid of hate, intolerance, and resistance to masks. Not only for ourselves, but also for our neighbor.
God Love You +++
++ The Most Rev. Robert Winzens
Pastor – St. Francis Chapel
San Diego, CA
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