Can’t Get No Satisfaction
“To what will I compare the people of this generation?” Jesus asked. “What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song and you didn’t cry.’ John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ Yet the Human One came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” – Luke 7:31-34 (CEB)
Unfettered capitalism promises the moon and the stars: unrestrained economic freedom for all, including permission for the wealthy to oppress or ignore everyone else.
Radically progressive politics promises bread and roses: justice and equality for all, even if it involves demonizing anyone who doesn’t get with the program.
Religious fundamentalism condemns those who don’t follow certain rules and believe what they believe.
Atheism and the a-religious may reject the very idea of spiritual truth.
Meanwhile, views harden, divisions deepen, cynicism abounds, and the ranks of the malcontent and disaffected – those who refuse either to dance or to cry – proliferate.
A heart that refuses to open cannot be healed. A mind that resists new information will not change. And a people who find fault with everything will be satisfied with nothing.
But Jesus offers another way: the pursuit of inclusiveness, flexibility, forgiveness, compassion, justice, healing, love, freedom, community, and room at the table for everyone.
So go ahead and grieve all that has been lost. Dance with joy every time hope is revived. And let your soul be satisfied with nothing less than the outrageous goodness of God.
Truest Promise that ever was, may I put my trust in you.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.