Sunday, October 17, 2010

Digging Deep

Like thousands of preachers around the world, I imagine, I used the rescue of the Chilean miners in my sermon today. It was hard not to – it was a topic on everyone's hearts and minds … the elephant in the corner that would have been impossible to ignore - & it was the ultimate feel good story. A great drama with a happy ending.

Maybe not so happy for some … I don't think I would have liked to be the guy who had more loved ones waiting for him up top than he could reasonably explain! At a gathering of my clergy colleagues we joked that he'd be the one going up last … maybe he'd even offer to stay down! It was tempting, given the Old Testament text of Genesis 32 today – where Jacob goes forth with his two wives, two maid-servants (ie concubines) and 11 children – to draw the two together and preach on polygamy … fortunately I resisted the temptation … the temptation to preach on it; the urge to use it to get a laugh was impossible to hold back from! A cheap shot, my wife said – I agree … the cheap shots are the best – they always get a laugh!

There's something else cheap about this whole story, though. Those miners were down there in a dangerous mine in the first place for a lot of cheap reasons: the desire for cheap goods; the desire for cheap profits; an attitude that human life – some lives anyway – are cheap. The moving finger of media attention has written on the wall and now moved on … will anything change because of what these men endured? I hope it does – that would be the ultimate happy ending.

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