Readings for 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; Psalm 103: 1-13; 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49; John 13: 24; Luke 5: 27-38
More than any other group in the world, American Christians love war, don’t they? At least it seems that way. Joe Biden’s a case in point. He’s a Catholic. But it looks like he’s doing his best to provoke war with Putin and Russia. It’s like he’d love nothing better than a fight over Ukraine of all places. It’s not clear why. (Btw, can someone please tell me what is Ukraine to us or we to Ukraine? I can’t figure that one out.) Nonetheless, the mainstream media (MSM) seems fully on board with war. In a nation where 80% claim to be Christian, journalists love the sound of sabre rattling. It’s what the American elite and its publicists do. By now we should know that. Today’s Readings This Sunday’s readings show the elite have always been like that. Gangster kings like Saul and his successor David were just like Biden and the rest. They were like the royal classes depicted in “The Game of Thrones” – constantly at war with one another, with foreign kings – always hungry for more power, more land, more wealth, concubines, and spoils. In doing so, they invariably claimed that God was on their side. Theirs was a God of war as blood thirsty as the royal classes themselves have always been. However, biblical prophets like Yeshua of Nazareth consistently opposed such heresy. They insisted that Israel’s God did not belong to kings and queens, but to the indebted poor who constituted the perennial victims of the royals. The prophets constantly reminded the powerless that kings and queens were not their friends. How could they be? The poor were always in hoc to them. Moreover, the royals tirelessly tried to convince commoners that the enemies of the rich were also somehow the foes of “the nation,” “the realm.” If successful, such attempts at persuasion always obliged the non-elite to fight and die in wars against rivals that were not really theirs. In contrast to all that, a prophet like Yeshua taught his followers to have no enemies at all, to realize that debt and interest that held them in bondage are scams, and that the wealthy should give wealth away rather than hoard it. Can you imagine what would happen to our world – what a paradise it would become – if American Christians refused the warmongers and actually accepted wisdom like Yeshua's rather than the propaganda of those involved in contemporary Games of Thrones? The “translations” that follow suggest what I mean. They contrast the royal games of Saul and David with the prophetic voice of the Master Prophet from Galilee. (Please read the originals here to see if I got them right.) Readings Translated 1 Samuel 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 Like a scene from “Game of Thrones” The crown seeker David Steals into the field barracks Of the throne sitter Saul Who’s asleep And surrounded by his gang Of 3000 brainwashed thugs All snoring, belching And farting away. (Imagine the din!) The insurgent’s acolyte Abishai Whispers “Let me kill the S.O.B. Right now. I’ll nail him to the ground With my spear You know how good I am With steel. No one would even hear.” “Hell no!” David whispers back. “The Game’s rules Forbid killing A throne sitter Who claims he’s been Appointed by God. Who knows? Maybe he was. It might be unlucky.” So, instead The intruders Silently steal Saul’s own spear And water jug, Run to a safe distance, Wave their plunder And taunt: “Coulda killed you But didn’t. Your days Are numbered, old man.” It all Frightened the hell Outta Saul! Psalm 103: 1-13 Despite the pretensions Of gangsters Like those, Life’s Great Spirit Has nothing to do With Throne Games Taunting, killing, or war. The Great Spirit is instead Kind and merciful Compassionate and benevolent. It’s a healer Full of grace And above all Forgiving. 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49 Source Has been like that Since before It breathed life Into the first Earth Creatures. The Spirit loves what’s living, Loves the earth And everything natural. That’s the order Human beings Misleadingly call “Spiritual” and “heavenly.” It’s found here on earth Not somehow “Up there.” To be spiritual Is to love everyone And Life’s natural order. That’s what Yeshua taught us. John 12: 24 By his Very life And words. Luke 6: 27-38 Specifically, Here’s what The Master said and implied About earthy spirituality In contrast to Games of Thrones Played by kings And would-be’s: Have nothing to do With their values. Games of wealth And accumulation Contradict God’s natural order. It demands Hating no one Having no enemies. Loving the haters. Striking no one Even if they hit you first Or take What you think is yours. Instead, Loans should be free And without interest Or expecting repayment. Don’t judge or condemn Anyone Or hang on to wealth. Give and forgive Again, and again. If you do all that You’ll be like The Great Spirit Earlier described In Psalm 103 Experiencing Unbelievable abundance Beyond anything Sought by “kings” Gamers and gangsters Like Saul and David. (Or their counterparts Today!} .
The bottom line here is don’t listen to Biden or the MSM. According to Yeshua’s words, Putin is not our enemy. Ukraine is not our concern. All of that is the business of our “royals” and Russia’s with their shared preoccupations about presidential polling, gas pipelines, arms sales, market share, and imagined threats. Those are the concerns of the elite rich; they are not ours.
In the light of today’s readings, what should be our concern is the New Order proclaimed by Yeshua. He called it the “Kingdom of God” It’s a world without enemies, war, debt, interest payments, violence, taunting, or retaliation.
Accepting that viewpoint would change our world. Don’t you agree?