I played competitive tennis as a teenager. At one point, a new player started working with my coach. He was a natural athlete—quick, agile, and well coordinated. I was impressed. My coach was not. He said, “That kid will never be any good.”
Season after Pentecost | 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; (Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1;) Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33
For those who are uncomfortable with any suggestion that our future is in our own hands, this might be one of those weeks to abandon the assigned texts on theological grounds. (It is extra tempting given the occasion of “Rally Sunday.”) In Deuteronomy we hear that if we obey we shall live and be blessed, but if our heart turns away we shall perish. And then very directly, “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” Really?
Here in Tidewater, Virginia, we make our way from city to city via a series of tunnels. As we approach each tunnel a series of signs warn us: “No HAZMATS” and “HAZMATS must exit here.” Trucks carrying hazardous materials of one sort or another provide a danger anywhere, but in tunnels the risk is magnified.