11 September 2022 – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
by The Rev. Tammy Hobbs Miracky
Sermon preached by The Rev. Tammy Hobbs Miracky
Below is a DRAFT text of the homily. It may vary considerably from the recorded version. Please excuse typos and grammatical errors, and do not cite without permission.
It’s really pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
If we were to continue our thought experiment in the Gospel fo Luke, how much greater a sense of loss and incompleteness we might notice when we consider the parable immediately following. The wealthy landowner rejoies and throws the most festive of banquets when his younger son is found. The family cannot be whole without him. And then he follows his frustrated older son into the fields, because the family cannot be whole without him.
/// So why engage in this thought experiment? What difference does it make? Maybe it’s just me, reading into these parables the sense of saudade that I feel this time of year. But I think there’s more to it than that.
Reading these parables outside the interpretive context of Luke, focusing on Jesus’ words, may help us open up new questions:
- What makes us whole?
- Can we put aside the busyness of the season and pay attention enough to notice if something that makes us whole, or makes our community whole, is missing?
We have been through a lot of change over the last few years. We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve celebrated important milestones in isolation instead of in community. Those feasts of rejoicing haven’t happened in the way that most binds our families, our communities together.
Is now, perhaps / in prayer / the time to take stock and notice what you need to be made whole? Perhaps now we can get ourselves off the back of that roller coaster and spend time in meditation, prayer, communion with God, reflecting on the things that make us whole.
One source of wholeness is this community. As we start our new year, we come together to celebrate and be joyful / and to share a feast together. At the end of today’s service, Richard will offer a special blessing to mark this new season. To send our young people into the year knowing that this place, this community is a source of healing and wholeness.
And for all of us, as we begin this new year following the words of Jesus, may this be a season of noticing gratitude and grief, of growing into healing and wholeness for us all.