Cat's in the Cradle, performed by Harry Chapin; written by Sandy Chapin and Harry Chapin, 1975
This Sunday’s message is more pastoral than prophetic. That might strike you as unusual: just Monday, our church was part of a 400-person rally in Baltimore for immigrant justice. We might think that theme would carry through on Sunday. However, we will reflect on the Scripture from the Gospel of St. Matthew in which Jesus reminds us that “my burden is light and my yoke is easy.” That is, when we work in the Jesus Way, we do not find ourselves burned out or terrified. We find ourselves forever refreshed and renewed even in the difficult journeys. Maybe not always happy — but secure in the meaning of what we do. In a time of diminishing community cohesion, and a spiraling addiction culture spurred on by existential meaninglessness, it is connecting to meaning and a community that calls us together to abandon the "tyranny of our calendars.” Otherwise, we get burned out and unable to hear the voice of God calling across the chaos that daily inundates us. Do we cling to our learned patterns, or do we follow the call of Christ?
Jesus once said that the "poor will always be with us." He was inviting the disciples to sit and rest and be in the company of one another despite the real need for justice around them. As a church community, we are called to do both. To sit and rest and take time to praise God is one part. To go out into the streets and bring the message of the holy is another. Often, congregations preference one over the other. The Jesus Way asks us for both. Harry Chapin's heart-wrenching song, Cat's in the Cradle, reminds us of how we harm future generations when we fail to account for this balance, preferring work over rest and sabbath. The cycle continues, and our future generations perpetuate the sin of not resting and realizing the beauty of the world.
There is real work to do. It's a matter of life and death that we do it. But lest we run ourselves ragged, we are called to set aside that time, such as this Sunday morning, to be in the presence of God and each other and rest. The same applies to our lives. This is perhaps one of the most important acts of resistance is rebelling against the tyranny of our calendars.
See you Sunday, and bring a friend.