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Let Them Go!

Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have you no faith?
Job 38:1,8-11; Psalm 107:23-26,28-31; II Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

Sermon Week Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 4:40

A geologist at Harvard once was giving a lecture entitled "The Expanding Universe." In it, he pointed out that there are galaxies greater than our "Milky Way" speeding outward -- moving away from us faster than the speed of light. This means that we're losing them. It’s like they're falling off the edge of the Universe. It is a mind-boggling thing to think about. In the question-and-answer period that followed the lecture, a woman who appeared to be upset by this revelation asked anxiously, "Professor, what are we going to do about all of those galaxies we're losing?" To which the learned professor quietly replied, "Let them go, ma’am, let them go!"

Some of us find it difficult to let anything go. We want control. We find it challenging to use our gifts responsibly and, at the same time, to let go and allow ourselves to be carried through life by God. It is an inward problem. It is a problem of "hubris."

Hubris is a Biblical word not easily translated. It appears in the earlier chapters of the Bible and turns up again and again. Often it is translated as "pride" and, because pride has many meanings in our language, we may misunderstand what the Bible is telling us if we're not careful. We are not talking about ordinary conceit. Hubris, in the Biblical sense, means refusing to let God be God. It means trying to be God ourselves: self-sufficiency -- the opposite of the "Faith" Jesus talks about.

"Hubris" is the original sin in the story of Adam and Eve. It is the original sin out of which every other sin grows: the unwillingness to let God be God; the willingness to put our own will above God's will. That is the whole point of the Garden of Eden story. All Adam and Eve had to do to stay in Paradise was to let God be God. They refused to subordinate to God's Will. And so, the "Fall" from Paradise!

Jesus used a little child to demonstrate the need to leave the control to [...]


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