Luke 13:1-9 – The third Sunday of Lent â€“ for March 3, 2013
â€œDo you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans?â€ (Luke 13:2)
Remember this encounter from the 1994 film Forrest Gump*?
Bumper Sticker Guy: [running after Forrest] Hey man! Hey listen, I was wondering if you might help me. ‘Cause I’m in the bumper sticker business and I’ve been trying to think of a good slogan, and since you’ve been such a big inspiration to the people around here I thought you might be able to help me jump into – WOAH! Man, you just ran through a big pile of dog shit!
Forrest Gump: It happens.
Bumper Sticker guy: What, shit?
Forrest Gump: Sometimes.
It does happen, doesnâ€™t it?
In the fanciful Forrest Gump, the dialog above depicted the life-is-like-a-box-of-chocolates Gump as the inspiration behind one of the enduring phrases from the twentieth century: Â shit happens.
Oops! Arenâ€™t I supposed to be circumspect and convey the offensive word through dashes like s _ _ t?
But it does happen, doesnâ€™t it? In Lukeâ€™s Gospel, Jesus mentioned the death of eighteen people killed by the collapse of a tower in Siloam. Didnâ€™t shit happen to them? In my family, my fatherâ€™s dementia couldâ€™ve been categorized as shit. At a church I served in the 1980s I had an awkward chat at lunch with someone convinced gay men deserved AIDS . . . in other words they deserved the shit they caused.
Recent news highlighted the dismal situation for the thousands of passengers aboard the crippled Carnival Triumph. Their luxury toilets didnâ€™t work and soon a whole lotta literal bad shit happened. Whatâ€™d they do to deserve such a mess? Immeasurably worseâ€”though it rarely makes the newsâ€”are the 2.6 billion people (according to the World Health Organization) that â€œlack even a simple â€˜improvedâ€™ latrineâ€ the 1.1 billion people without â€œaccess to any type of improved drinking source of water.â€ Are those billions being punished? Continue reading →