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

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Sunday, July 05, 2015

DROPS IN A BUCKET

Sermon –St. John’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco, CA July 5, 2015

What is a prophet? Not profit.

A prophet is a person is regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God.

Today, prophetic voices are those who follow the radical teachings of Jesus. They do not predict the end of the world. They are teachers who teach humanity. Much of the political and business world teaches and worships money. That is the word profit not prophet.

Jesus comes into his hometown. He is a famous teacher and healer.
His neighbor immediately questions him. How come he talks like this? How did he get so smart? Is he a wise guy? His dad is only a carpenter! They also say, “He is only the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon.”

Jesus says, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin and in their own house.” He is discouraged.

The writer gives us throwaway line. “Yet he leaves after healing a few sick people and cured them. He went on with his work anyway.” He heals the sick while getting out of town.

This weekend celebrates the Declaration of Independence. Brave English citizens living in the American colonies chose to become independent of their mother country England. The signers of the Declaration of Independence could have been hanged as traitors to their country. The signed the declaration. They were prophets of a new country and a new world. And they were without honor in their own country – England.


Bishop Pike in the 60s was a strong voice for civil rights for African Americans and free speech opposing censorship of book and movies. He was brought up on charges of heresy in the House of Bishops of our church. He was without honor in his own country.

Paul Moore, great Bishop of New York, chose to hide his gayness so he could preach love and acceptance for gays and Lesbians. LGBT had not been defined in his day. He was a prophet without honor in his own country.



Brea Newsome made a wonderful direct action in pulling down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina capital.

What’s also interesting about this to me is the outsized role single activists can sometimes have in moving conversations forward, setting off new movements, and exposing the power structure that oppresses people. Most of us are simply not going to climb that flagpole. But we probably should. ...

Lonely acts can sometimes prompt vast movements. But lonely acts will often -- usually -- sink without a ripple. What's hard is to predict which actions will make enduring waves. What Newsome did certainly amplified a cresting tide already in motion. She's won an honored place in the long river of resistance -- but she is certainly not alone.” She is a prophet without honor in her hometown.

In the Nuba Mountains of Sudan Dr. Tom Catena, a Catholic missionary from Amsterdam, N.Y., is the only doctor at the 435 bed Mother of Mercy hospital in the far south of Sudan. He is the only doctor for a population of more than a half million people. The area is under constant bombardment and shells from the Sudanese government. It is up to Dr. Tom to pry out shrapnel from women’s flesh and amputate limbs of children as he delivers babies and removes appendixes.

There is no telephone, electricity, or running water. Obviously no X-Ray machine. Dr. Tom has worked in the Nuba Mountains 24/7 for eight years. Muslims and Christians praise Dr. Tom’s work “People are praying he never dies.”

He is paid $350 a month, no retirement and no health insurance. He is driven by his Catholic faith. “I have been given benefits from the day I was born, a loving family, a great education. I see my work as an obligation, as a Christian and a human being, to help.

A Muslim Chief says Dr. Tom is Jesus Christ. Jesus healed the sick, made the blind see and helped the lame walk – and that is what Dr. Tom does every day.

When we try to do good things we often feel like they are a just a drop in the bucket and don’t do much good. When we write to the President, our senators and representatives it seems like just a drop in a bucket. 
However, empty bucket gets filled to overflowing.

Each of us is a drop in the bucket of helping the hungry – Julian Pantry

Drop in the bucket – Fr. Richard leads a Mission Walk against police brutality.

Drop in the bucket – Some hold a sign calling on a Vigil for Justice and peace.

Drop in the bucket - The Julian Pantry is our program for feeding the hungry.

They are all drops in the bucket but after a while the bucket gets full. Look at all the drops in a bucket too bring about the right for LGBT people to have the right to marry.




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