gwyn_bywyd: Photo of a yellow orchid. (Default)
Well, I knew that already.

But this particular incident relates to today's Gospel, Luke 13:1-9, in which Jesus discusses two tragedies that had occurred, and also talks about a fig-tree a bit (as one does.) Everyone else seems to be grimacing and trying to change the subject. A parishioner joked this morning that it was like some kind of comedy challenge, "here, try to get a good sermon out of that." But I asked to preach on it, because I actually rather like it. Granted, the language Jesus uses is quite heavy on the repentance and what-not, but he is portrayed here as an apocalyptic prophet, the imagery is of his context and time. But still, it remains one of the passages I tend to quote more frequently.

Because, in it Jesus is told about people who have been tragically killed. The assumption of those listening to him is that tragedy is a punishment from God for some sin. Or maybe not even that person's sin, it might also have been their parents' or even further back. And Jesus says, in today's language "Cut it out you lot, no-one deserves this sort of thing anymore than anyone else." He is warning his listeners against blaming the victim. Of course, this is a wonderful corrective to hateful f*ckheads who give the rest of us a bad name when they slime out of their crevices after, it seems, every natural disaster to claim that it was God's judgement. Interestingly these people seem to think that God is startlingly indiscriminate in his smiting. Like some slimeball who claimed that Hurricane Katrina was a punishment for New Orleans letting some famous lesbian live there. Who from memory, wasn't killed. Anyway. Jesus says in this morning's Gospel that this is crap. No-one deserves those sort of things.

But it is actually the other victim-blaming I'm thinking about more, because most people see the blatant stuff as the rubbish it is. But there are more insidious kinds at work all the time. "If you thought positively you could overcome your clinical depression." "Despite the fact 3 generations of your family have been unemployed you should instinctively know all the things that go with getting and keeping a job." and so on. And it is also stunning and saddening to see how much of this thinking has been internalised. So often I see people in times of grief or pain and loss and they say "I don't know what I've done to deserve this." The answer is nothing: No-one deserves this, ever.

So yes, there is reason #5834 why I'm odd, because I do a happy dance at this morning's gospel!


gwyn_bywyd: Photo of a yellow orchid. (Default)

May 2010

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