By Rev. Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Genesis 3: 1-13
Have you ever had one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize you are standing in front of people naked? Perhaps at that moment you woke up sweaty and panicked! Psychologists have long discussed what our dreams reveal. Public nakedness in a dream often has something to do with emotional exposure or vulnerability. Perhaps we have a presentation to make a work and we’re worried we may be asked questions for which we have no response. Or, perhaps we’re experiencing ambivalence about a relationship that is deepening in intimacy. Or, it may even be our subconscious’ way of exploring whether or not it is wise to disclose our true feelings about something deeply personal. Most of us don’t like the feeling of being emotionally exposed. We are often more comfortable hiding behind ideas than exposing what lies within our hearts. In an increasingly polarized culture, it is tempting to hide from others. But we also sometimes try to hide from God. Perhaps your upbringing communicated that something about you was shameful or didn’t meet with God’s approval. So, the idea of exploring whatever that is in the presence of God feels humiliating or frightening. Finally, sometimes we even try to hide from ourselves when there is something within us that we don’t want to confront.
Now, certainly, there are times when it is wise not to disclose too much of ourselves to others. And yet, emotional exposure and vulnerability is the only way to be deeply and intimately connected to God and others and to live into our true, authentic self.
By Rev. Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Jeremiah 4: 11-12; 22-28
Well, that was a cheery little scripture reading, wasn’t it? I believe I’ve mentioned before this thing called a lectionary that assigns scriptures for clergy to preach. Sometimes I use it; sometimes I don’t. But occasionally I’m reminded – as I was this week – of the wisdom bestowed by my seminary preaching professor that the lectionary forces us to preach some scriptures we might want to avoid; scriptures that sound unpleasant and make us feel uncomfortable. It’s tempting to avoid them. It’s hard enough to get people to come to church these days. Maybe we should be paying you or giving you cake every week as incentive. Why would anyone want to come to church to hear bad news? Isn’t that what we’re bombarded with every day?
By Tracey Leslie
“I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.” Did you know that in 2021, the average American was $90,460 in debt? Debt is the highest for Gen Xer’s (those currently ages 40-55), although debt is rising fastest among Millennials. That hot-button issue of student loan debt is a major culprit. It’s the only major category of debt that bankruptcy does not discharge. And so, off to work we Americans go… except tomorrow when many of us have the day off for Labor Day.
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