Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

My Photo
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Sunday, June 01, 2014


God's Joke on the World

Funny Lord, how we love this life you have given us.  Of course we get tired, bored, worn down by the stupidity that surrounds us.  But then that stupid person does something, says something that is wonderful, funny, insightful.  How we hate for that to happen.  But, thank God, you have given us one another, ensuring we will never be able to get our lives in order.  Order finally is no fun, and you are intent on forcing us to see the humor of your kingdom.  I mean really, Lord, the Jews!  But there you have it.  You insist on being known through such a funny people.  And now us--part of your joke on the world.  Make us your laughter.  Make us laugh, and in the laughter may the world be so enthralled by your entertaining presence that we lose the fear that fuels our violence.  Funny Lord, how we love this life you have given us.  AMEN
--Stanley Hauerwas.

Jesus looked up to heaven and said….” What follows a complex prayer about the relationship between Jesus and God. I suggest you take this Gospel home and read it very slowly and figure out what it means to you.

Jesus prayed a lot. We are supposed to pray a lot. Sometimes we even do pray. When we remember to or if we want something. God’s Joke prayer gives us a humorous and realistic way to think about prayer and then do it.

Anne Lamott teaches us the basic prayer:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
Help, Help Help

We often pray for things over which we have no control.
Please God:
Don’t let this plane crash. Let the Giants win. Bring peace to the world. Feed the hungry. Don’t let my mother die.

The prayer that brings the most sense to our minds and pleasure to our hearts is the prayer of Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for our food, family, and friends; our money, freedom and democracy.
We also give thanks for the unearned gifts in our lives:
Life it self
Our brain
Our hands, feet, eyes and ears, sight and hearing.

We did not earn these things. They are God’s free and unearned gifts to us.  That makes me humble, that these essential parts of my being are not something I earned, but have been given.

Few specific thanksgivings in the prayers of the people – The late Jean Cathcart was a long time member of Trinity. In the prayers of the people she would pray aloud in her good strong voice. “That you God for all the beautiful things, the flowers, the trees.” We all chuckled bit, but then we realized she was absolutely right. She gave thanks for specific things she saw.

Prayer works on us, not on God.

We have a healing station for those who are ill or if you want to pray for someone who needs healing. Healing.

Meditation: Meditation – Maya Angelou – “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you may hear the voice of God.”

How I pray. I swim laps at the pool. I thank God for my wife Ann on the first lap, me daughter Leigh on the second lap. My daughter Sarah on the third lap and Jessica on the fourth lap. I pray for Richard, our Vicar, our congregation and other people on subsequent laps of the pool.  

I pray the Jesus Prayer– Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner. Say it 3 times at least when taking off and landing. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner

PRAYER WORKS ON US, NOT ON GOD. God the sustainer of the universe has lots of other things to care about than my concerns.

PRAY FOR A SICK PERSON, then do something, send a card, pay a visit, make a casserole. DO SOMEHING

Pray for peace, then DO SOME THING – Attend the vigil on Thursdays. Write letters to the president and congress, lots of letters.

Pray FOR THE HUNGRY – then do something. VOLUNTEER IN FEEDING PROGRAMS, find something to do.

We pray for pure WATER in Nicaragua, – Join and support EL PORVENIR, a program supported by our church community.

Pray for IMMIGRATION REFORM – Do something. WRITE CONGRESS, Join a COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION – Our Vicar is a hero for Immigration reform.

Pray for LGBT RIGHTS – DO SOMETHING. Join a group, send checks, talk with neighbors and friends about human rights.

SOME TIMES WE ARE POWERLESS – Malaysian Airline Tragedy. The 9/11 DISASTER. MASS KILLINGS -PRAY ANYWAY. Helpless. Hope for a miracle.

PRAYER WORKS ON US. It helps us focus on our most important values. So pray and get to work.


Anonymous Fred Fenton said...

Pray and then DO SOMETHING. Amen to that. Prayer without follow through is not faithfulness. It is sentiment in place of religion. Our prayers should come from the heart and issue in the will. Prayer can help us risk living on the edge, looking for answers, taking on the burden of redemptive action.
Problems often seem unlovable until you pray, until you take time to quiet your racing heart and give quiet reflection on the path forward. Your vicar, Richard, was arrested while demonstrating for immigrant rights. He truly is a "man of prayer."

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Schmidt said...


Terrific sermon--concrete, concise, thought provoking. Great examples. Loved the intro prayer and am sure I will revisit it from time to time. I miss being there when you deliver a sermon.

You've taught me much about prayer, among the many, many things I've learned from you. With your help and God's mystery, I keep on keeping on, and, amazingly--to me--I seem to make progress as I muddle along.

Peace, love, and blessings always,

Michelle (Schmidt)

3:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home