This Sunday’s modern lesson is “Spider-Man.” I didn’t really enjoy the most recent movie, but that’s okay because it isn’t out on DVD yet, so I can use clips from previous movies. It is nice to have choices … usually. It also can be a bad thing.
We live in a world that sometimes has entirely too many options. When I was a kid, absolutely everything in my small town was closed on Sunday mornings, so, if you didn’t fish or need extra sleep, you got up and went to church. For the most part, people in my parents’ generation still do that, but younger people are accustomed to having many options, even on Sunday mornings.
It has been my custom during the past several decades to preach from the lectionary. Unlike multiple Spider-Man movies, the scriptures are assigned for every Sunday. Now, no one forces me to use them, and, frankly, almost no one would notice if I didn’t. It was my choice to limit my choices. It seemed better to me to let the scripture tell me what I was to preach about rather than the other way around.
It is not for me to say whether that has been good for my preaching or not, but it has been good for my soul. It has forced me to deal with scriptures and stories and truths that I very well might otherwise have skipped. This seems to me to be a parable for a stronger spiritual life for us all.
We have many choices about what we do with our time, our money, our passion. Sometimes too many choices simply stretch us too thin to do much good anywhere. Sometimes it is a good thing to make the choice to limit our choices and discipline our lives to be faithful to a higher calling.
Rev. Michael Piazza