Layperson Lecture #1: Doing Right

To quote Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 1, “There is a time for every purpose under heaven.” So now it’s time for a Layperson Lecture! I’m Constance McEntee, seminary drop-out and The Idiot Before G0D.

The selections for today come from LectionaryPage.net (link opens in a new tab).

Isaiah 58:1-12

The reading from Isaiah seems to be about the people turning away from G0D, about being more performative in their actions than actually doing the right thing for the right reason.

Psalm 112:1-10

By contrast, the Psalm is about how fulfilling it is to do the right thing for the right reason.

1 Corinthians 2:1-16

In the First Letter to the Corinthians, I found justification for what I’m doing here as the Idiot Before G0D. What I see again and again in this selection is the justification for Unverified Personal Gnosis: the idea that we who have not completed or even attended seminary can still have the authority to speak, to preach, because we feel we have been called to do so. This part is important for various reasons, including the part about G0D’s secret wisdom. The wisdom of G0D must not be secret; we need to share it.

Matthew 5:13-20

The first thing I noticed about this selection were the words “salt” and “saltiness.” In modern language, being “salty” can mean being agitated. That state of agitation seems to be encouraged so that we can say what needs to be said and do the right things for the right reasons.

The second thing I noticed was about being the “light of the world.” We are to be seen, yes, but “light” can also mean wisdom. We’re to share that wisdom.

Then there’s the part about none of the law passing away. What does this mean for Gentiles? Well, it seems we aren’t cut off from the kingdom, rather we’re to be at the back of the line. I think this is very important, as the sects of Christianity that I’m familiar with all say we’ll be at the front of the line. This selection seems to suggest we should be considered fortunate if we even get into the kingdom at all.

Conclusion

So. What could be the central theme that runs through these selections for us in the here-and-now? Well, I think it would be to be sure we’re doing the right things for the right reasons, and not be too concerned with how our actions might affect our status.

Benediction

So, my friends. Keep up the good work, and do so with the blessings of the Lover, the Beloved, and the Love Overflowing. Amen, and go with G0D.

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