Sunday Sermon

“For my part I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance.”
-Adlai Stevenson

I have refrained from preaching for a while now. I wish I could say that it was because I was busy with school, but the truth is, I simply don't feel qualified anymore. Regardless of how self-effacing you try to be, a sermon of any kind connotes a message delivered from a pulpit, a space above the congregation. I, in no way, stand above the Flock. In fact, many of my regular readers are people of immense merit and tangible worth, who stand head and shoulders above the desperate mass of humanity - how on earth did I presume to preach to them in the first place?

Many other preachers have faced this dilemma. Amish preachers sometimes begin their sermons by saying something like, "I'm not qualified to preach, but I preach because God called me to do so." I don't have that kind of excuse, and my congregation would never swallow that brand of drivel anyway - way too savvy. No, I preached in the past simply because I had taken on the mantle of "reverend" and that's what reverends do. I had, and still have, no divine mandate to sermonize. I preached, in all honesty, because I thought I had something relevant to say; something that might help someone.

I have come to doubt my ability to write anything that is meaningful beyond a chuckle. Not that laughter isn't valid - it is a wonderful gift, and I'm happy when I can make folks giggle a bit - but it's hardly the sort of mooring we all seek when the seas are rough. It's more of a life preserver; it keeps us afloat just long enough (we hope) for real comfort to arrive...and real comfort is rarely seen at this URL anymore. I rant, I bore you with the details of my workout obsession, I point you toward crazy shit in the news, but how often do you come away from this blog feeling better?

That, I believe, is what a good sermon should do. While the great preachers were never afraid to goad, chastise, or rebuke their congregations, they always gave them a message of hope. Even the most horrific, pulpit-pounding, hellfire and brimstone sermon contains the underlying message that there is a way out of this mess. I need to begin offering that here again. I need to reiterate the catechism of this strange ministry, and quit being such a whiner. So let's start again, and I'll try to bring the hope...

As for myself, I have internalized the title "His Sinfulness" a bit too successfully - redemption from my myriad transgressions seems unlikely. I do, however, still have hope for you all.

That hope leads me to believe that despite what I read and hear and see everyday, humanity is moving in the right direction.

We are still selfish children, but I can see a day when our collective "terrible twos" will come to an end.

We still don't understand that life is a team sport - if one loses, we all lose - but we are beginning to understand a few of the rules now.

Even though greed blinds us to it, today, more than ever, we have the means and the resources to feed everyone, clothe everyone, house everyone, heal everyone, and vaccinate everyone. We have the capacity to embrace everyone, and we lose nothing by trying.

We can choose to be kind, to lessen suffering, to think honestly about the effects of our behavior, and to act the way we know we should for the greatest good.

So, you should all go do that. Now-ish.

Go in Peace.


Cerus said...

Amen. As much as I fear humanity will destroy itself within the next one hundred years, I also believe this younger generation has come into a world where they can see the mistakes of the past and realize that this cannot be the way of the world if we are to survive much longer.

People my age are mixed. To generalize, we can create two camps (much neater than reality). Half really see the future as something worth striving for while the other half still believe that humans are infallible and that this world will not buck us off given the opportunity. Unfortunately, the latter half still holds great support in the old white dude club that we call politics and government and until this begins to change, we're in danger for at least another decade. But with Obama, a turn has, at least on the surface, been signaled in how politics and attitudes towards the world will play out within the next 50 years. I hope this trend continues but I fear the stupid people will rise up in mass once again to fuck stuff over.

Professor Noob said...

Oh, habibi. You really are down in the dumps, aren't you? I still don't see how you can believe that your only worthwhile contribution is humor, which in itself is a much greater gift than you seem to think, and which is also hardly your only virtue. You are an incredibly generous, loving, and intelligent human being with a solid sense of what's really important in life. So when I tell you to shut the hell up with this "I'm not qualified to preach" bullshit, it's only because I love you. :) As for the future of mankind, my opinion has always been that, while I cannot dictate the behavior of the fuck-ups in this world, I can make a choice to serve and protect those weaker than myself, whether they are human or otherwise, as best as I possibly can.

Linus said...


Well considered, as always. The great mass of the stupid is a terrifying force - we should stock up on chainsaws now...

Thank you, Professor Noob. I'm not so much down in the dumps as I am just tired... and irritated with myself for being tired.

Mayren said...

I know you weren't looking for validation.
But in that sappy bloggy-friend way -
you complete me.
I really don't know what life would be
like without this blog, I could imagine -
but that's too silly to think about.

As far as doing these things now-ish.
Aye aye. I'm on allll over it.

Linus said...


Always nice to hear from one of the Faithful! As for completeness, I would be but an empty shell without my number one fangirl! :)

Tessa K. said...

Don't let February get you down - You have lots to contribute in the way of smiting, elitist, moral superiority - we are snobs after all...

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