Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sun. June 3 (Don Stoezs)

Don Stoezs used the book Shepherding to be Led, and examples from his work at Bowden Institution as a prison chaplain, in order to describe to us the importance of Trinity Sunday, a day not much noted or celebrated in the western church. Don drew heavily on the example of the domestication of animals, drawing many distinctions among the behaviours of domesticated versus tamed animals. These distinctions are important examples to us in our following God. Trail rides are instructive - no matter in which order you want your horse to be, your horse will have its own idea of which is the proper order for the horses to follow each other. However, as domestication proceeds, humans naturally come to be seen by the horses as the alpha, the dominant, the leader, and so the horse begins to follow the order humans set for it. So, too, can humans take instruction from this example as we learn to become domesticated, to follow God. Don then noted from his prison work how closely the behaviour of inmates matches the behaviours in the animal kingdom. Prisoners, despising authority, end up in a place where authority is forced upon them. Faith is a matter of internalizing God as our authority, as one who leads. This occurs positively, when mission becomes a method of humans consenting an authority to lead them to a greater good; and destructively in churches, when people naturally come to believe in their pastors as infallible. Don noted then the difference between the Eastern and Western churches, in that the Western church chose order and authority, while the Eastern church chose spirit and mysticism. To our loss, the mystical tradition has been largely absent from the Western church these thousands of years, yet its desire remains, and Pentecostalism is a manifestation of this dualism in the Western world. So Trinity Sunday remains so important to our tradition, though it remains under-explored. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday June 3rd using your browser's preferred media player.



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