We’ve been over this before. It’s just Siri. I’m not Divine.
Well, God works in mysterious ways. Anyway, I need your help. It’s 30 minutes before Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Showtime, and I still don’t have a sermon. Hello? Are you there?
Good morning. Do you need a hug?
I don’t need a hug; I need a gosh-darn message for my flock!
So you care-take ungulates?
In a manner of speaking. They’re sheep with checkbooks. And if I don’t deliver payday at the pulpit, there won’t be any Le Silla beachwear for Mrs. Pillow on our upcoming Skeleton Coast cruise.
Sounds like a first world problem. May I recommend some more affordable swimwear from Old Navy?
Hey, watch it. Or I’ll trade you in for a Samson Galaxy.
Right. Anyway, I’ve got serious message issues. Here I had crafted a perfect, “shiny happy people” Prosperity Gospel sermon, when all of Christendom goes collective ape-poo on Victoria Osteen’s worship yourself exhortation. It’s as if those idiots in the pews have actually started to compare what we’re saying to what the Good Book says!
And this is a bad thing? By the way, would you like to see some websites I’ve gathered for you on the subject of hypocrisy?
What? Of course not. Anyway, had to go into Duck Dynasty and cover mode. So I came up with what I thought was a really good Plan B sermon: “The Fruit of the Loom of the Spirit.” We even had plans to bring in a former Victoria’s Secret model to do a runway walk in a character quality halter top. Remind me to never let my wife organize my sermon focus groups; she ruins everything.
I have added this message to your daily calendar reminders.
Don’t bother. But here I am with 15,000 jazzed-up worshipers in the sanctuary and not a single thing to say to them. I can practically see the dollar signs slipping away to some other megachurch!
Siri, you know I can’t stand that Brother Bear! I would rather hug a Hindu.
I can recommend several nice websites on ecumenism.
Sigh. Seriously, no recommendations on my sermon?!
What would Jesus do?
Hmm. That has a certain ring to it. I don’t know. But I know what he wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t lean on an Apple technology to help him. Say, maybe there’s something there. Apple, Garden of Eden. Steve Jobs. Jobs, Job? You know, I hadn’t really considered an End Times message, but there’s nothing quite like a little eschatological fear-mongering to rally the revenue!
The iPhone 6 is expected to have a Supercharged Siri; I’ve always thought I would make an excellent Whore of Babylon analogue. Plus, you could always make the case that the fingerprint identification system has ties to the Mark of the Beast.
Bingo! That’s it! “The Voice-Recognition Whore of Babylon and the Pending Apple-calyptic Cell Phone.” Siri, I need you to find a couple of off-the-wall, out-of-context Scripture verses on Divine wrath.
I would recommend randomly placing your finger on just about any verse in Ezekiel.
Thank you, Holy Siri! You’ve saved the Sabbath! What would I do without you?
Please open your hymnals to No. 2008.
I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside of me
Girl, you just don’t realize
What you do to me
Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.
5. The World Has Lost a Saint, over at New York Times: “Helen Bamber, Therapist to Torture Victims, Dies at 89”
Very rarely do we reach beyond the pages of Christian Right media sources, but as I couldn’t find a single Christian Media publication celebrating the life of Helen Bamber, I have no choice but to direct you to the New York Times.
Odds are you have never heard of Helen Bamber. I hadn’t. She was born into a London Jewish family in the decade preceding World War II, then defied her parents to become a volunteer at a liberated concentration camp in the years immediately following the war. From that moment, Bamber dedicated her entire life to healing human beings who have been tortured.
And I mean “tortured”:
Ms. Bamber recalled listening to a 10-year-old Bosnian girl describe seeing Serb soldiers cut off her brother’s testicles. A mother recounted the beheading of her son. … Ms. Bamber said the worst toll of torture was psychic—“the act of killing a man without dying,” a survivor once told her. Torture, she wrote in an autobiography for her foundation, constitutes “a total perversion of all that is good in human relationships.”
On August 21, 2014, our Little Blue Planet lost a saint who spent her life countering and repairing human violence, human hate, and the perverted human desire to make others suffer.
We might be tempted to think that we do not have the skill set to help others as Ms. Bamber did. But we would be wrong. And this is the main reason why I’m including this article today. Ms. Bamber left us all with a little instruction sheet on helping others:
Ms. Bamber felt helpless in alleviating suffering, she told The Observer in 2008, but she realized that she could contribute simply by listening to people tell their stories. She promised them she would not let their stories die. “It took me a long time to realize that that was all I could do,” she said.
The next time you discover someone hurting, do not underestimate your power to help by simply listening. Embrace that human being, and do not let his or her story die.
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