I’m starting to get tired of R words (I’ve been preaching on all the really, ridiculously, rich R words: reverence, reversal, remember, release), so I’m on to the next letter in the alphabet. However, I just threw sex in there to see if that would generate some new readers. Gotcha!
I have the following picture hanging in the church office: I love this graphic mainly because of the hand-written note on top of the advertisement. It says: “Styles of 1980 and this is what they call shoes. Someone must have a loose screw in their head.”
Then there is this picture. My good friend from Newton sent me this. I guess this little girl came out to the living room with these heels and asked if she looked like pastor Ruth. Oh dear, I thought. What happens when the pastor is the one with loose screws in her head? When I was her age I would have NEVER been caught in heels. If it would have been up to me, I would have worn football cleats everywhere I went, including bed. Now I wear heels once in awhile, but I’m not very good at wearing them. (Just ask the Deacons at Bethel College Mennonite Church who once had the privilege of watching me lose a shoe during a communion service.)
Now I live in Kansas City, a city known for its malls, discount outlets and shoppers. In fact, when I announced my intention to leave Newton and move to Kansas City, one woman from the church approached me after the service and said, “Ruth, all I could think about this morning was, “WOW! Ruth is going to LOVE to shop in Kansas City.” Again with the “oh dear.”
I’m trying to tighten the loose screws in my head and be reasonable, and not buy into this materialistic country we live in, whereby a person’s self-worth and status is all wrapped up in shoes and STUFF.
And so I keep this reminder close at hand. It is a quote by Margaret Rose, an Episcopalian priest in New York.
“In a world where buying is synonymous with godliness, where consumption is an act of patriotism, we are called to fasting and self-denial. In a world of sound bites and instant messaging where image is everything, we are called to look inward to meditation and prayer, to spend time in reflection and silence.”
I guess I will return to yet another R word on Sunday. R is for Riches. We will look at the story of Zaccheus. God, help us all!