In our daily prayers God was every manner of image and metaphor and meaning, and always, "God the Father." We never ever prayed to "God our Mother." What were women in the economy of God? The answer was only too painful: We were invisible. I had given my life to a God who did not see me, did not include me, did not touch my nature with God's own....Joan Chittister, "Called to Question"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Proper 11C

A reflection by Janine Goodwin, M.A., M.S. Ed. Proper 11C: Genesis 18:1-15
Psalm 15, Colossians 1:15-29, and Luke 10:38-42



Sarah, Mary, Martha,
hear the word of the Lord.

Sarah, you feed strangers
although you may not eat with them.
You know your world and your body
well enough to laugh at crazy words,
no matter whose they are.
You fear the messenger’s anger
and hear God contradict
your self-protecting lie.
How will the word of the Lord change you?

Martha, you welcome your friend,
feed him, fuss, grow angry,
resent your slacking sister,
turn to the one you call Lord
and scold him
as you would a brother.
How do you respond
to his words
about what is needful?
How will the word of the Lord change you?

Mary, you take a place
forbidden to women,
a student at the feet
of one who calls you
to learn from him.
He gives you
what no one can take away.
How will the word of the Lord change you?

Sisters, brothers, listen.
How does the word come to us?

Have you heard it from a stranger?
Has it called you out of everything you expected, brought you back to withered hopes and long-held bitterness until you laughed at God in anger and heard yourself contradicted?

Has a word from a loved one
called you out of your busy day
to remind you that your events,
your obligations,
your knowledge of what everyone else should be doing are keeping you from hearing God’s call in the voice of a friend?

Dare you take your true place
because at last
thirst for the truth has led you
where even the ones who love you
will say you should not go?

What is God saying to us now
that we do not want to believe,
that we do not want to hear,
that calls us into life?
How will the word of the Lord change us?

The word of prophecy,
the word of wisdom,
the word of truth
come to all of us
in the ways we least expect
at times we do not choose.

The presence of God is among us,
always speaking,
always waiting for us to hear.

Feed the stranger.
Doubt.
Welcome the friend.
Confront.
Sit and listen.
Believe.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

3 comments:

revkjarla said...

beautiful and provocative. thank you Janine.

Mompriest said...

amen! I love how you weave through this from Sarah to Martha to Mary to us...

Janine Goodwin said...

The surprise as I wrote (because this was a surprise!) was how the stories and the messages that came out of them that day kept repeating and condensing, every time with more of the outward circumstances (which are also essential) falling away.

It was a gift to me, and I'm glad it can be a gift to others.