Cromey Online

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

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Monday, November 10, 2014

TEN VIRGINS

The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13

The parable of the ten virgins relates that the Kingdom of God is like a wedding banquet – FOOD, BOOZE, DANCING, kissing and great boisterous fun. The five foolish virgins were late to the wedding feast and were not allowed in.

Jesus message is “Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Jesus means we do not now when God’s kingdom will break in.

 The parable excludes latecomers. I don’t think so. I believe there is nothing you can do or believe that will stop God from loving you.

Jesus, a Jew of his time, believed the Kingdom of God, the end of history would happen in his lifetime. He also believed that if the Jews followed the law then God would save them. If you did not follow those rules, one would be cast out into outer darkness and would not achieve the love and presence of God.

After Jesus’ death the church evolved theologically so that many now believe, as I do, that there is nothing you can do or believe that will stop God from loving you.

But for today I want to focus on  Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Jesus means we do not now when God’s kingdom will break in.

Living on the brink. We live on the brink every day. We can die in the blink of an eye, just like that.

Now that I have reached a certain age, 83 and a half, not a day goes by when I don’t thing “I could die, I could day at any moment. Then I go and have another cup of coffee and another piece of pie. I don’t dwell on death I merely note it. I’m not afraid of death, I don’t think about it a lot.

In the mid 1980s, when I led funerals for 75 plus gay young men, I thought of death a lot more than I do now. All of alive from those days remember that death was in the air.

We live every day on the brink of death from a nuclear bomb, a polluted air, water and land. Any bite we eat may kill us.

Immigrants in our own church or neighborhood live on the brink of deportation.

Brittany Maynard, a lovely East bay woman moved to Oregon where she could get assistance in dying. Oregon is a state where physician assisted death is legal, it is called Death with Dignity.  Ms. Maynard was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. In the days near her death she suffered from frequent seizures and severe neck and head pain. She chose to take life ending pills and soon died last weekend.

She said in an earlier video, ”I did this because I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity.” There are five states Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Montana and New Mexico. California is not among them

Opponents to Death with Dignity are prevented from passing such legislation from the usual suspects. The Roman Catholic Church, the fundamentalist Christians like the Mormons and Southern Baptists and disabilities rights organizations, to name just a few.

We are always on the brink of new life, new possibilities, new friends, and new paths to justice.

The New Republican dominated Congress means we liberals have to trust the process of election wherever it takes us. I suspect we can handle the new problems and opportunities that will come our way under this new regime.

New babies. New loves, new lovers, New friends, new books, new TV shows.

A few weeks ago well-dressed woman, new in church, said hello to me after the service. I asked her name and she hesitated and said, “Sally. You are the first person I ever said my new name to. I am now a woman. I had the surgery. I felt so safe in this church.”

“I feel so safe in this church.”

Tuesday is November 11. Some of us remember that this used to be called Armistice Day. As kids we had a day off from school. On November 11, 1918 the First World War ended with Germany surrendering to the Allied forces. This war was called the “War to end all Wars.” That was 96 years ago.

The world thought we are on the brink of world peace.

But 21 years later Hitler’s armies invaded Poland and World War 11 began.

When Word War 2 was over, the United States has been waging war ever since from Korea through Afghanistan. Some us bear witness to peace.

People have stood vigil since the beginning of the war in Iraq. The vigil was started by the San Francisco Friends Meeting House. Many Episcopalians have joined in over the years. I stay for a half hour from 12 to 12:30 PM most Thursdays. Feel free to come for as long or short a period as you wish. There are plenty of signs provided by the Quakers. If you do not wish to receive these email, please just let me know. If you wish to add a name to the list, let me know that.

The Vigil takes place each Thursday from noon until 1:00 PM at the old Federal Building at the corner of Golden Gate Ave. and Larkin Street.

For more information about the weekly Thursday Vigil please contact me at my new email address robcro904@gmail.com or in person at 415-824-6321.

We live on the brink of death but also of life, new life, new dreams, creativity and perhaps even the basic message of Jesus, food for the hungry, justice for all and peace.


RWC

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