Friday, July 6, 2018

Theology Prompt: The Morning After the Day Before

If I had my camera with me during my walk along the beach on July 5, I'd have taken pictures of the mounds of trash.  Most of the mounds are in bags, which are stacked up beside the trash cans that are along the beach.  Crews had been at work for hours before sunrise; I don't think that the crowds of people at the beach for Independence Day neatly bagged their trash before they left.

As I walked, I paid attention to the trash that I saw.  It would all be picked up of course, but for now, random pieces of trash lined the Broadwalk.  I was most struck by the debris that once we would have hauled home:  coolers, umbrellas, a variety of clothes.

In a history class long ago, our teacher reminded us that most of what archaeologists discover comes from digging in the garbage dumps of former societies.  I often wonder what future archaeologists will make of our trash.  Certainly they will comment on the huge amount of plastic.

As I walked, I looked at all the trash, both the collective version and the individual pieces, and I thought about the symbolism.  What could we learn if we use this trash as a symbol?

Jesus told parables with very strange comparisons to get everyone to think in ways they hadn't before.  His contemporaries would have reacted in a very different way to being told they are like yeast; in the days of Jesus, wild yeast was often what spoiled a dough, not what gave it life.

If the Kingdom of God is like the beach after a day and night of festivities, how might that work?

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