A postcard for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost 09/18/22.
Pictured: Pepper, the dental therapy dog.
This week I had to go to the dentist. I get a lot of anxiety about the dentist, which results in prolonging a visit until absolutely necessary. Well, this past week it was necessary. I decided to try a new dentist, and amazingly they could get me in quickly.
After a few x-rays, the dentist came in to confirm what I already knew, which was I had a cavity that needed to be addressed. She noticed that I had put in my patient notes that I had dental anxiety. She informed me that they had a therapy dog and “would I like the dog?” My answer was an enthusiastic “yes.”
So in comes Pepper, a two-year-old Bichon Frisé. Pepper laid calmly in my lap the whole time. If I stopped petting her, she would nudge my hand.
I could have used her as I wrestled with this confusing parable that we hear from Jesus this week. There are no heroes in this story. No clear character to cheer on. Every decision made seems questionable, yet Jesus offers this parable to his disciples. What are they/we to make of it?
I still don’t like going to the dentist (I don’t think anyone does), but having Pepper there sure made the best out of an uncomfortable situation. Perhaps that is some of what Jesus is telling us, as disciples in this world preparing for the coming of the kingdom, sometimes we just have to do the best with what we have.
A sermon for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greensboro, Alabama, on the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, 09/18/22:
Principal text: Luke 16:1-13
- September 25 – Messiah, Heflin — 16th Sunday after Pentecost
- October 2 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke — 17th Sunday after Pentecost
- October 9 – Messiah, Heflin — 18th Sunday after Pentecost
- October 16 – Messiah, Heflin — 19th Sunday after Pentecost
- October 23 – Off
- October 30 – St. Michael’s, Faunsdale — 21st Sunday after Pentecost