What About Me / Us?

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Creative Commons Nelson Mandela For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” by BK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jesus began the parable of the Prodigal Son / Waiting Father (Luke 15:11) saying, “A certain man had two sons.”

Amy Jill Levine commenting on the Parable of the Prodigal indicated that when the Jews in Jesus’ audience heard a story about two brothers they would automatically pay attention to the younger brother – Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, etc. 

What about me?
  Don’t I count?!”

I have stayed at home
faithfully tending
the family business.

I watched as my younger sibling
gathered up…
and returned in shame,
only to be greeted like
a conquering hero.

“What about me?
  Don’t I count?!”

We older siblings
     feel slighted…
Why all the attention
toward the wayward sibling?
toward the poor and dispossessed?

How can we hold up our heads?
ur numbers are dwindling…
our buildings are suffering delayed maintenance
our “mainline” has been sidelined.

There it is!
     the trappings have become a trap…
the mission, missing…
the chalice, a challenge.

What will it take
to renew confidence and hope?
to transform faithful belief
          into trust?
to set aside over-thinking
and address under-doing?
to move beyond institutionalism
toward community?

     building social well-being
          not marvelous buildings
     more reaching
          less preaching
     not just talking the talk
          but walking the walk

     a focus on justice
          instead of judging
     a concern for wholeness
          instead of holy-ness
     solidarity with the poor
          instead of “poor me!”

a willingness
to empty ambition
to be what we truly are
to heed the insistence
to grow into our calling

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