Bumper stickers, gotta love’um

12 May

I have started back to the gym after hibernating for the long, cold winter. As I was driving back home this morning I saw a truly wonderful bumper sticker. This is coming from a woman whose car was covered in bumper stickers in her twenties. Mine said things like “Have Jesus, Will Share” and “I’m not prefect, just forgiven”. I can remember the other ones.

This morning this morning said, “Keep Your Religion/Out Of My Uterus”. I love things that make me smile. And perhaps you think my sense of humor/irony is a bit demented. You would be right.

But, I think people make all kinds of fights about religion that has nothing to do with their lives. I think our faith journey has to do with making choices that honor God with integrity for our lives, not legislating what someone else should do with their choices. [Also, it is clear that the people who choices are legislated and truncated are usually women].

Today’s reading from “The Rule of Benedict” is on the role of the leader of the monastery usually called an Abbot[man] or Prioress[woman]. This is one of my favorite chapters in the Rule because I think it reflects what a Pastor should look like for the church. It says:

“they must point out to the monastics [congregation] all that is good and holy more by example than by words, proposing God’s commandments to a receptive community with words, but demonstrating God’s instructions to the stubborn and the dull by a living example.”

I have taken this teaching to heart in my ministry and try to never ask anyone in the church to do what I am not doing myself. One of the truly wonderful men in my church says, “Your, the workingest pastor I’ve ever met”. I take it as a great compliment.

I dream of a time when people of faith will live clearly the love, forgiveness and openness of the Divine. And will not inspire bumper stickers like, “Keep Your Religion/Out Of My Uterus”.

Peace.

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