The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

In the closing moments of Ken Burns’ Mark Twain, the writer Russell Banks speaks of how Twain’s work “goes on altering our consciousness of the world.” He continues:

“You know, human beings, we’re a strange species, we’re unique almost, but mainly in so far as we have to learn over and over and over again what it is to be human. We have to be taught simply what it is to be human. Other species know exactly what is to be a dog, a cat, even a chimpanzee, but we’re not drawn by instincts, to that degree, to be ourselves … and Twain [does] what any great writer does, [and that is] show us, remind us, teach us, what it is to be human, the worst of it, to be human, and the best of it, to be human.”

In his own idiosyncratic, imperfect, brilliant way, Twain was indeed trying to teach us what Jesus teaches us: how to be human. One of the gifts of hearing the bible in church on Sundays is that we hear the many experiences of Jesus’s life and teachings which empower us to live more fully as humans who are also Christian. Experiences like Jesus curing the bent over woman (pictured above). The summers in our church are a treasure trove of Jesus’s teachings on what it truly means to be human. And because we’re hearing those teachings while being a congregation gathered for worship and prayer, the work of simply being gathered as Trinity is also teaching us what it means to be human.

Thanks be to God, for this. And thanks be to each of you too.

Your Sister in Christ,