Sunday, June 28, 2009


Not too proud to beg

PRAYER OF CONFESSION today at church:

"Lord of Life, we gather as a community searching for the will to respond to the world as it is, not as we imagine it. We come in search of healing, both body and soul. We come to ask for what we need, and not to let anything stand in the way of our relationship with the Divine. Give us the strength and the courage to "beg" for wholeness, and the will not to stop until we have found it. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth our Teacher and Lord we pray, Amen."

Hear a recent sermon.


I would feel ashamed if one of my children had to "beg" me to make them whole if I had the power to do so.

Why then would we approach our greater Father in such a way?

Does not Jesus teach in parable that the Father, even when we squander our inheritance, will run to meet us upon our return, cover us with his own cloak, and prepare a feast for us?

What theology is this that says we must beg?
I think the emphasis is on the desperation on the part of the needy one, as in the synogogue leader, or the desperation-slash-ballsiness in daring to ask, as in the case of the woman with the chronic bleeding -- not on the stinginess of God or any requirement of God's for such displays. They *were* desperate and ballsy -- the leader not letting Jesus's heresy keep himn from Jesus's healing; the woman not letting her womanness, nor her uncleanness, not the crowd, keep her from touching him.
And preacherman says the Grek word in each case, and others in mark, means "beg." But I haven't checked Strong's. :-)
"...*were* desperate and ballsy..."

"Beg" carries a lot of baggage and it is too preachery. I hear "beg" as you got to get down on your unworthy knees like the scum you are and bother the Father until he pays attention to your worthless self.

English is such a rich language, why not importune, beseech, or supplication or some other viable synonym.

The bleeding woman was not doing any of these. She grabbed her need. She did not beg, beseech,or importune Jesus, she reached out and purloined his power which he then allowed.

I guess my point is that the point of the story is not about begging, so why make it so. Simple every preacher needs new material they think to make things interesting?
Maybe they need to show their prowess with the word or their insight to the Lord. There are a millions of books with sermons and sermon ideas. I have always been amazed at the variety or variance of sermon takes on any single verse or passage of the Bible.

I call it the Preacherery Syndrome.
Sometimes preachereryness is to the Gospel as fark story commentators are to the news cycle.

How dare I criticize those who work so hard? No problem it is , my calling.:)
Maybe. But I begged my mama to forgive me a time or two when I had absolutely no doubt that she would. It reflects the condition of the seeker, not the disposition of the provider, in these cases and others.

On the road now.
ER: "It reflects the condition of the seeker, not the disposition of the provider, in these cases and others."


But is that good theology or a good story or just a good way for the "priesthood" to exercise power?
I think I've left a wrong impression by taking this prayer and scripture out of the context of the sermon that accompanied it. My bad.
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