Homily by The Rev’d Glenn Empey
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A
Exodus 12: 1-14, Romans 13: 8-14, Matthew 18: 15-20
Anytime that something comes on the TV about religion or the Church, I’ve been noticing my thirty-something son has a consistent comment. I’m not centering him out. Most young people of his age and younger would say similar things about religion. For this particular instance, I don’t know if it was prompted by some general remark that I’d made or if was the content of the TV item.
Anyway, his usual response is something like: “Well, that’s it, organized religion. That’s the trouble with it…politics.” My usual response is to ask what he means by that. And the reply is usually something like: “Well, politics… the church people…and how they get along.”
How I respond to that is by saying that a church is a microcosm of society. It’s really no different than any other human organization or institution. There is always a human dynamic in the inter-actions of people who are mere humans. It’s the same in every human endeavour. Think about it—it’s the same in work situations, clubs, municipal councils, governments. The degree of its visibility will vary. Sometimes there is a lot of effort to hide it in the fog of things; nonetheless, it’s always there, it would seem to me.
Here’s another influence: I am really getting irritated by how the media portrays religion in general in most of its coverage, especially the television media. Not that we don’t already have enough problems in the world with people not getting along with one another—we have a media that simplifies the dynamics of many struggles as all being solely the result of religion. That’s just a massively gross over-simplification that is incredibly misleading for those who cannot see anything beyond the snippets of a few sound bites.
* * *
Since the earliest of times, powers-who-be have always tried to use a religious angle to sway the people toward their own particular interpretation of things… more …read full homily