Sermons

Summary: The Christian who confesses is to be the Christian who professes; whose passion in life is bringing Christ to the world and thus saving souls and our culture.

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES YOU WALK ON HOLY GROUND

by Charles Scott

Jude 23 “save others by snatching them out of the fire”

May 4 2005

A nurse, a para-medical, an LPN, an intern or physician who understands that the flesh he or she touches, cleans, nurtures, medicates or binds up is sacred approaches their tasks with a different attitude than that implied in the term ”health care

worker.”

I am thinking of more than respect for patients. The

practice of medicine is larger than the body of knowledge or the human bodies that are studied , treated, fed and cleansed.

The term “professional” and “profession” comes to mind in distinguishing between a “health care worker” whose end in view is doing a job and earning a living (ie serving ones self by serving others) and one who is devoted, mind, body and soul to his sacred duty. Do I view that nearly mindless lump in the next bed as just

one more task to be completed before happy hour or am I involved in the mystery of life, loving the world that God has opened before me and all the creatures with which He has populated it? Am I learning

from, and entering into the creative process presented to me this day?

The word professional has become nearly as isreputable as the word liberal. To some, professionals are guys who make the big bucks by taking steroids and otherwise cheating at the holy game of baseball.

Professionals are people who are paid for what they do. Amateurs are conceived of by today’s worldings as inept dabblers with altruistic ideas who really aren’t “in” the game.

In the days of Lords and Ladies, Clergy and Laity, Commoners and Kings, the term profession indicated that which a person professed. The choice of professions in those days were few: The Church, the Law, Medicine or the Army.

This meaning of the term profession is a given in our Ordinal, the prayers for ordination. The

Bishop asks, “Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this Office and Ministration, to serve God for the promoting of his glory, and the edifying of his people?” He doesn’t ask, “Do you know what salary you will receive and what benefits (meaning money).”

Interestingly, many oaths of office and promises on entry into professions have similar promises to meet

duties considered sacred. Remuneration was never the sole objective of pursuing a profession.

Clerics shouldn’t think they were the only persons called to Holy Office in this sense. At the time our language was being formed, there were not so many professions: The Law, The Church and Medicine

have been classically looked upon as professions.

Those who attempt to work honorably in the Fourth Estate (News, Journalism) appear to be outnumbered by “news sellers” who are professionals in a pejorative sense. The Grey Lady (The New York Times) is now accused of having joined the oldest profession. Observers of the political scene as well as business news reporters (professional analysts) are

regularly accused of being on the payroll of powerful interests. The consumer, if he buys a paper today, has to wonder is this all the news that is fit to print, or all the news paid to be printed by the

highest bidder? This cynicism is not new. How long ago was it said, “Believe nothing of what you hear or read and only half of what you see?”

Devoting oneself to the Military or the Government eventually came to be regarded as a noble profession in the West. In this country, there is a strong tradition that to serve the country by joining the armed services is a an honorable way to devote one’s life. Those who serve in the volunteer army certainly aren’t mercenaries.

Unfortunately, Knights in Shining Armor at times have had their escutcheon besmirched by accepting bribes, payoffs and in some countries, becoming brigands preying on the powerless or waging war as soldiers of fortune.

In our own government hardly a year goes by without calls for the creation of investigative boards or ethics committees to look into the misdeeds of various and sundry members. This is a good sign, for it means there are still those among our public servants who believe, as Grover Cleveland said, that “a public office is a public trust.”

How many times have defenders of the accused in these affairs said, “Well, he is no worse than the others?” A prominent congressman observed that the congress would be devoid of members if everyone were removed from office that had abused the expense accounts or hired a relative who didn’t work. Was that observation a Freudian slip of the tongue, or was it slander? In my opinion, the press and the public at large shrug their shoulders and think, “So what else is new?” Scandals are so common they have been accepted as normal. Has there been a rush on the part of all legislators and all related to government to make full disclosure and refute the charge? No, the remark has been ignored.

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