DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

August 8, 2008

                                                           

Walk on By

I didn’t really expect to link this coming Sunday’s Scripture passage from Matthew and baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. but it was right there in the Prologue.

I wasn’t expecting Matthew 14:22-33 to have any connection with pay-TV or a Presidential candidate or water bugs, but I read about them all in connection with the Biblical passage.

The “Prologue” is our church’s attempt at listing the Scripture passages for the coming Sunday and giving a few brief comments concerning their context within the week’s lesson or within the Bible itself. We also give a few sentences about the possible direction of the coming Sunday’s sermon.

For this coming Sunday, Lisa is preaching and so she wrote the Prologue and on Tuesday, I read it for the time in my email, just like everyone else. One of the passages for Sunday, August 10 is from Matthew and it concerns “walking on water.”

That is a passage with powerful imagery and is something that we preachers always like. And to be honest, it is a bit more family-friendly than say, Samson and Delilah or Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac. Although, the two latter passages do have  powerful images too and make for some interesting reading and learning possibilities. Nevertheless, “walking on water” is the order of the day for August 10.

But here is where Ken Griffey Jr. and waterbugs come into the picture. Follow closely. I received my email through the Yahoo! email connection. And Yahoo! which is a wonderful search engine internet portal, helps us with internet searches for any and all relevant names, dates and phrases which appear in any of my email letters.

In the case of Lisa’s Prologue, delivered to my email box via Yahoo! she mentioned that Matthew 14 was about “walking on water.” That phrase was underlined in my email. I clicked on the phrase, which took me immediately to all the current news stories about “walking on water.”

Not to my surprise, no one was reported to have actually walked on water, but many people made references to the phrase, including Ken Griffey Jr. the superb baseball player traded from Cincy to Chicago. I think someone mentioned in the sports article that no one expected Griffey to “walk on water.” Indeed, during the past few years he has been fortunate to walk, with all his injuries.

 

There was also an internet article on how bugs “walk on water” and I dutifully read it and not to give the ending away…it has something to do with air molecules trapped in the hairy legs of certain bugs…hence the walking on water. Sorry to spoil that one for you. One politician had a reference to his own walking on water (or lack of ability to do so) and there was an article about British piers and the headline was about walking on water. And somewhere there was a long detailed article about the Office of Management and Budget and walking on water. You have to be pretty dedicated to read an article like that, but I did and found the “walking on water” reference.

There was also a quick link to a Salvation Army Vacation Bible School, which demonstrated walking on water for the kids. The article never said where the VBS was and so the secret of actually walking on water for the moment still resides with a Salvation Army unit somewhere in the continental U.S. The closest any article ever came to the Holy Land was a story about the current politician in Israel and his ability to walk on water. I think that was metaphorically speaking and it continued on about other politicians drowning and there being floods. By that point, the metaphor was definitely overused.

My point? It takes no time at all to make connections in the world today. From something seemingly so isolated and benign as a descriptive explanation of a Bible passage we are instantaneously connected with future baseball Hall of Famers, water bugs, candidates and boring financial articles. Perhaps this is good, even great. It forces the preacher into the larger world immediately. If we are talking about the “hereafter” (which may be many years away for some of us; never for a few of us), our kids are experiencing everything online, NOW. There is no time to ponder and make connections at one’s own pace. The internet does it for them. No wonder we can no longer preach behind a podium in a sanctuary surrounded by stained glass, oblivious to the world. The cliché of the world being at our doorstep has arrived. It is only a click away.

Lisa is an excellent preacher and if I were you, I’d be listening carefully to see if she makes any reference to Ken Griffey Jr. in the sermon this Sunday. If she does, then it proves that she too can walk on water.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing