We see. We taste. We touch. We smell. We hear. To be human is to move through time and space guided by our senses. Reading this passage from Luke, I think about the sensory onslaught that defines my existence.
Jesus offers his unsolicited advice fully aware of the jousting for prominence that occurs in our social spaces. He sees our mad dash to the front row so that we can be seen by the chief executive officer, the potential major donor, or the bishop.
Larry was my spiritual director for seven years, but when I moved from Durham, North Carolina, to Pittsburgh, I could no longer make the monthly drive. On my last visit, instead of lighting a candle and inviting me to sit with him in a time of silence, he suggested we take a walk.
Richard Lischer suggests that one of the ways to organize a sermon is around a “master metaphor”—that key image on which the sermon’s progress and structure can hang. More often than not, the scripture passage itself gives us the master metaphor.
If it’s difficult for listeners today to connect with the Bible’s injunctions against idolatry because our own idolatry looks so different, the metaphor of God as “fountain of living water” being forsaken for self-dug, cracked cisterns is striking.