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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Sermon 11th Hour On Short Notice!


I want to express my joy at being your substitute minister here at the seaside retreat. Your regular pastor summoned me at short notice --what's that? 10 minutes ago actually-- and told me this is an interactive service, that my sermon would be subject to welcome comments from the congregation. Beyond that I know only that we are to divide into teams and play baseball later. I must ask you to speak distinctly because I have tinnitus and am hard of hearing, so...

Sorry, what? Eat what? Eat what raw? Oh yes, Yay team! Rah Rah Rah!

So I shall proceed with...what? Who do I think I am? I'm sorry, it's just this roar --like an ocean or something exacerbating my hearing problems-- oh? Oh really, I got it right? Well, I think I am a descendant of an old Portuguese athlete who was invited to this country long ago  to play professional baseball. What do I mean? No? Oh, what team? Well, he immigrated in the 1840s so there was only one team, if that many. I forget what it was called.

He played 7th base and was considered peerless. When he retired, 7th base --now called 2nd assistantshortstop-- and his jersey were retired with him. Eh? Yes they wore jerseys and a new one had to be made for his replacement  which is how New Jersey got its name. But now to my sermon which, I must say, was prepared at scant notice and suffers from brevity. Eh? Yes. Yay. Yay team! Let us now open our Bibles to Genesis 1:25-27 then Genesis 2:18-19 and discuss which came first.

Yes yes, I know. One comes before the other but I'm talking about whether animals were created before humans. It's a theological conundrum that bugs the heck out of some people. Animals are created, then the human, then animals are either created in duplicate or later or summoned to parade before Adam to see what he calls them. Now I don't know whom I'm subbing for but hope to end the controversy on this sunny beach. What? No, I said beach and it is not my progenitress.

You'd have to be writing copy pretty early on to make the press deadline for Genesis. The world --with the exception of Arizona and Utah, which could use topsoil-- had only just got finished. In written language, understandably, there were present and future tenses. Nobody was nervous about past tense because there wasn't any past yet, hence the ambiguity of the two chapters. Other explanation is humankind numbers among the animals. You're welcome to consider either or both solutions to the enigma.
However, I will caution whatever church I'm addressing with this advice from a gardener of profound experience: We were created only as stewards to the planet, and if you can't cram your religion down other peoples' throats, it's probably useless to switch to suppositories. Now go have fun on the beach...eh? Whazzat? Go to how? Oh, thanks, you go do well too!
 


26 comments:

  1. Your's is a church that I would go to anytime, Geo.

    After watching the presidential debate last week, staring the Trump man, it is clear that animals have evolved so much better than humans. We don't need suppositories, the crap is flowing just fine. Holy Cow 8:10-15

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    1. Dear Arleen, you are always welcome in whatever forum I find myself addressing. And I'm amazed the chapter and verses of Holy Cow coincide exactly with today's date. It's a sign!

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  2. I always wondered how New Jersey got it's name - - Thanks for the historical enlightenment.

    You should seriously consider giving a weekly sermon on the beach. There's no doubt that the Gospel According to Geo would generate a vast amount of disciples.

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    1. I try to present historical facts as accurately as imagination permits. What stumps me about New Jersey is we still call it new even though it's been around hundreds of years.

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  3. The only thing that puzzles me is were Arizona and Utah created before the rest of the world and the topsoil not included or did they come later and the topsoil had run out?

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    1. As Lt. Governor of both states, my theory is their soil was stolen by rustlers and buried where no one can find it.

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  4. As stewards of the planet most of us are in desparate need of remedial classes. The animals? Not so much. Sometimes I think, often I think, the wrong beings are (or believe they are) in charge.

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    1. I've heard there is a vigorous reformist faction that believes humans were designed and created to open doors for other animals. A cat told me that.

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  5. I would choose the second option with apologies, in far too many cases, to the animals.

    As for New Jersey, I recall a song from my (Canadian) childhood that started out "What did Delaware, boys, what did Delaware" ..." then in reply "She wore a brand New Jersey, that's what Delawore"... Now I have just googled to see what the next verses were, only to find out, some fifty years later, I had the words wrong. Mr. Google, you both educate and disappoint me.

    But Geo., your posts educate, enlighten and never disappoint!

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I remember that song! However brain replies to each verse with "I don't know Alaska."

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  6. There appears to be a profound difference in principle between the two passages. The first agrees - broadly - with science; the second is genuinely a principled approach. If it were really true that Big G wrote the bible, then it would appear that He had second thoughts after doing His science bit. It does seem to be a pity that after appointing an estate manager to look after the Garden, the recognition of his sous-gardener came as something of an afterthought. I do wonder what was in God's mind (well I don't sleep over the subject) when He apparently sought for a helper amongst the animals, then as an apparent afterthought said, "Hey! How about something looking similar to Adam, but with more interesting bumps and things! Well come on, you must give God some credit for innovative thinking.

    This comment (and the Indian curries I prepared earlier) have quite a-wearied me, so I think I'll pass on the baseball physical. Anyway, I have more stewarding to do.

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    1. Excellent points, Tom. I know that we men are emotional creatures and need companionship. Sometimes we even fall in love when nobody's around. Creating a spouse for Adam doubtless avoided a lot friction between him and Him. Also instructive: had I not similarly found a loving, honest partner in life, I would have no idea what kind of idiot I am.

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  7. Before I can even consider playing, I need to know if Hank Greenberg is on the team, and can I bat just before him.

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    1. Even if we still had seven bases, loaded, Hammerin' Hank would bring them home.

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  8. Created to be stewards, yes! Religion, probably a response to an inner itch. Forcing it on others, a human distraction, a detour from the garden. And yes Utah and Arizona need top soil. Amen!

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    1. Tom, sometimes I suspect we exist in a garden of detours. Accept treats from snakes? Sure. Know good from evil? I'll bite. Seems like once you get the animals named, it's time to progress toward other recreations --then down comes a rolled-up newspaper the size of Oklahoma to shoo us out of Eden.

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  9. Dear Geo., being a bit late (sorry), I find that everything enlightening has been said - so I abstain from repetition. But I can praise your interesting post, and learned about New Jersey :-)

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    1. Dear Brigitta, no need to be sorry. You are only fashionably late and make a grand entrance. I was much in need of it. However, I must confess I made up how New Jersey got its name.

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  10. Great sermon and the next time I talk to someone from New Jersey... :)

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    1. Sage, thank you. My sermons come from the heart and the heart likes to goof off. That's why I have a pacemaker.

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  11. Your sermons are always a delight, and just as enlightening as some I've heard while sitting in a church pew. Far better to stimulate thought in listeners (readers?) by saying, "Let's consider what this might mean" than to squelch all independent thought by dictating which unquestionable Truth must be believed.

    And what I believe is that we are supposed to be our brothers' keepers, as well as stewards of this world, and unfortunately, we're doing a pretty crummy job of both so far.

    You go do VERY well, dude. Great post.

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    1. Dear Susan, you have given me opportunity to steal a Woody Allen line: " Am I my brother's keeper? Yes... I share that honor with the Prospect Park Zoo." Only here it would be the William Land Park Zoo. Thanks, Substitute Reverend Dude needed a compliment today.

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  12. 2nd assistantshortstop... hahaha... On the credits for a TV show, I recently saw someone listed as "2nd 2nd Assistant Director." 7th Baseman would have been more flattering, I think.

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    1. Yes, 2nd and 2nd 2nd Assistant Directors were consolidated into a single on-diamond authority in the 1980's after the popular film, "The Umpire Strikes Back". It eliminated complicated field-debates and sped up the game.

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  13. Back again, after catching up! So much thought into such few words ~ You're so good at that, Geo!

    Genesis! Again so much thought into such few words. And majestic words at that: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." I always respond to that with awe, but then things go rapidly downhill and crash and burn when God creates Adam "an help meet" out of one of Adam's ribs.

    Personally I think God should have given Eve another rib to clunk Adam on the head when he was obliviously engrossed in anything else when she called him for dinner. Oh, but then she's "an help meet" demoted from Mrs. God. And I'm sure little Bead must wonder where the bee goddesses and priestesses have vanished.

    And obviously you can blame God for the nocturnal diurnal division, if not not for the English words which my third graders boys always found funny. Add an "i" to diurnal and you get third grade male humor. It ranks right up there with Uranus! Which I always pronounced the Canadian way (on purpose! ~ gotta have a little fun ~ third graders are so literal). Thankfully God stopped there, because trying to sort out crepuscular, vespertine, and matutinal with third graders usually engaged only the feminine divine.

    Okay, I'll stop! I think I've solved my herky jerky enigma! LOL

    It's ALWAYS a delight to read your posts. btw cats are goddess connected too. Maybe Mrs. God was banished because God felt threatened when he saw how quickly Eve turned poor Adam's mind inside out with a little apple.

    I remember the time my very religious and Baptist Great Uncle Cuppy gave up on my religious enlightenment when discussing Genesis with me. We were looking at the massive mural of the first two chapters of Genesis that he had painted from ceiling to floor on the wall in the living room in his tiny cabin. Obviously he struggled with an inner religion/science conflict because he was trying to reconcile things like geological time and evolution which he had represented with dinosaurs and meteors.

    He told me Eve said to Adam, "Open your mouth and close your eyes. I'll give you something to make you wise." He made it worse by actually suggesting that Eve rubbed the apple down Adam's throat to make sure he swallowed it!

    I disrespectfully replied to his perfect aa rhyme scheme, "That's ridiculous, Uncle Cuppy! Eve said no such thing!" "Well, maybe she didn't," he replied a little discouraged. After that we stuck to tidal power schemes and gold. He always wished I were a boy, and he was forever trying to get me to go prospecting with him. I dearly loved my Uncle Cuppy ~ he literally glowed with a love of God.

    Okay, now I'll really stop. This comment is ridiculously long. See what you do!

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    1. There's no length-limit on comments to this blog, especially when they're as interesting and enjoyable as yours, Fundy Blue. I wish I had an Uncle Cuppy!

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