Sunday, August 16, 2015

We have the story of the crazy fig tree this morning.

Fig trees are different from all other fruit trees. Fig trees put out fruit before they put out leaves. I don't know why, but they do. The leaves come later and cover the delicate fruit. But this crazy fig tree put out its leaves even though it didn't have any fruit to cover. Of course we see this in religion all the time, the showy leaves of fine vestments and furnishings, but no fruit. People like me who are not in church do it too, but it's most easily apparent in church. That's why the story where Jesus throws the money changers out of the temple is inserted into the crazy fig story. An immature fig is a pretty hard little bulb. But the mature fruit is tender and delicate. Too much sun, birds, all kinds of insects, even small mammals are a threat. Thus the big leaves. For protection. It's not a story condemning the big leaves, it's a story condemning the lack of fruit. So, just because we see billowing incense, and golden chasubles, and the like doesn't mean it's all just showy nonsense. Those things can be protecting delicate fruit. But, of course, they can also just be showy. It's pretty much up to Jesus, though, to decide which is which.

The reading from Psalms tells us that we become like our idols. And I think it's not just those idols where we have a little golden statue and bow down before it. But event he things we admire. I think we really do become like the people we hang out around. Whether or not that's causative or coincidence, I don't know. Still. Something to think about.

I am still coughing and wheezing, but I've had a good night sleep and some fruit for breakfast. My medications seem to be getting me through. I am admittedly a big baby about the least little bodily complaint, I know. I am grateful for my body. Everything on it works to one degree or another, and it gets me around.

Off I go to teach some English and be in the world.

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