DATE: 18 October 2015
TO: Manantial de Gracia
TITLE: “Liars, and Cheaters and Bears…oh my!”

Bible Study on Wednesday at 7pm.

1 Samuel 17: 34-37 (ASV)
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. And David said, Jehovah that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and Jehovah shall be with thee.”

Song: De Colores (Sing of Colors) #42 (NCH)

“Liars, and Cheaters and Bears…oh my!”

Happy SUNDAY church!!!

This week I had the pleasure of driving through Kansas as I thought about todays sermon… See todays sermon title is a reference to the movie THE WIZARD OF OZ. As Dorothy asks her new friend the Tin Man if he thinks they will “meet any wild animals” on their journey he answers, “we might.” And then the Scarecrow asks, if these wild animals might be the type to eat straw and the Tin Man answers, “uh some, but mostly Lions, and Tigers, and Bears…” And thus begins the chant… Lions, and Tigers and Bears…OH MY!

See, when you are in unfamiliar teritory you often wonder about the danger you might be exposed to… Thus Dorothy’s question about WHAT wild animals that might be lurking about. But Scarecrows question about what these wild animals might eat has always intrigued me… Do they eat STRAW he asks full of fear…

Let me ask you to remember what a Scarecrow is… See a scarecrow is a large oversized doll like thing that hangs in the fields to attract the attention of birds and animals, confusing them into thinking that he is a man. There are three things you should know about scarecrows:

1-they are a really helpful way of tricking wild animals into thinking that there are people in the fields and thus they should stay out. 

2-they arealso a way to keep the wild birds who think they are messing with humans busy bothering the scarecrows instead of stealing the corn.

3-they are A LIE. Scarecrows are a lie told by farmers in order to trick animals.

Here is something to keep in mind about scarecrows, they are full of straw. The clothes they wear are filled with straw. The hat they wear is full of straw. The hair that seems to billow in the breeze is nothing more than STRAW…

The more I think about the Scarecrow the sader and more important his question becomes. Do these wild animals eat straw?

In our wilderness, in this reality…where the streets are not paved with gold but rather tar and dirt and concrete…in our concrete jungles his question is very important…do those animals out there eat brains? Do they stick their McDonald labeled straws into our people flavored heads and suck out our brains as though we are nothing more than Happy Meal-flavored skin suits? (Reference to Buffy)

See for us, we must be fearful and weary and aware of those people whose goal in life it is to eat our brains. To take our guide ideas and seperate them from each other. To take our happy thoughts and cloud them over with their filth… And still we welcome them.

Todays sermon is titled Liars and Cheaters and Bears OH MY!
See David, was a really strong ruddy cheeked young man whose life revolved around the fields. His job, his chore, his life was all about keeping his fathers sheep alive and well. He spent his time in the wilderness. Away from the happy home life and away from the comforts of a safe bed. He lived outside with the animals… Both the ones he protected and the ones he protected them from. He lived among both the sheep and the bear. His life was lived stradled between the wilderness and the domestic. He was strategically placed between the two. Is it any wonder that he was such a good fighter? A strategizer? A liar? A cheater?

We often forget about that side of Davids life. The part of him that learned at a young age to protect what he thought of as his [as Malcolm X would say] “by any means necessary.” Lying and cheating and tricking and convincing. As David explained to King Saul, anything that took my sheep, I went after it, fought it and took back what was mine.

There is an enemy out there that needs to be fought. There is an enemy in here (POINT TO OUR HEARTS) that needs to be fought. But there is a wrong and a right way to fight.

Many of us have been taught that quip about the devil being a liar, but we have not been taught that we are liars too.

As we continue to welcome the “other” into God’s household remember that we welcome both the wild and the domesticated animals. Find a way to share TRUTH that does not get confused as straw.

Don’t be so HOLY that you forget where you came from. Don’t be so good that you forget your past. Don’t pretend to be so perfect that the world thinks God only for those who are not like them. Don’t be such a liar that you believe your own hype.

God loves each of us, imperfections and all.