If you have read for long you may know one of my favorite televisions series is Grey’s Anatomy. Some may find this odd for a pastor. Since the early days of this show I have been intrigued at the ways in which contemporary culture has been portrayed, critiqued and at the same time uneasily encouraged. Last night’s episode did not strike me as one of the best. However, the theme carried through on both obvious and subversive levels. In the words of “O’Malley”, “What did I do to deserve this (we reap what we sow)?” It could be argued much of the show carries this theme throughout. While many could not abide some of the themes, subjects and dialogue, it is good to know writers remain undeterred to press the theme of “reaping what we sow.”
For example, we cannot escape the ebb and flow of the relationship between “McDreamy” and Meredith. Their relationship began as a one night “hook-up.” Derek coming off a horrible experience of walking in on his wife’s infidelity and Meredith lonely. From there the story unfolds in a winding “Crash-esque” way. Apparently disconnected events become connected once the viewer puts pieces together. Now, Derek is making a go at reconciliation with his wife but there yet remains this unresolved romance with Meredith. Can a relationship endure infidelity? Is that not an age old human question?
Throw in Burke and Kristina living together, the clandestine encounters now a staple between Izzy and Alex and the often out of place O’Malley and it makes for an apt description of our culture. Many of our “culture warriors” may decry my infatuation with this show. I still find incredible themes running from episode to episode that offer interesting illustrations in the “real world.”
Grey’s is not fact but it is true. Life in our day does look much like the mess that is this series. And, we do reap what we sow.
When I read Marty’s post this morning and clicked the link to the Ethic’s Daily story referred to in the piece I could not help but think of last night’s episode of Grey’s and the recurring theme – “What did I do to deserve this (we reap what we sow)?” How dare I mingle such a show with the work of the SBC and the CP! Except it were a mess there may not be much reason for the connection.
Marty points to the BP article wherein the attempts to raise the awareness and participation in the CP. You can almost here the, “What did we do to deserve this?” Until it is acknowledged that we are where we are because we elected leaders who offered much less than stellar support for what may well be one of the greatest mission support cooperatives “EVER.” How is it that we came to this point? What did we do to deserve this?”
I have regularly been told any consideration of alternate ways to support missions jeopardizes our missionaries. Is that not a guilt game? It is one I refuse to play. “What did they (missionaries) do to deserve this (the potential plunging support of the CP)? Nothing. That is, nothing more than to partner with a group whose leadership “took the CP for granted.’ Let’s rephrase that. “Ignored the CP.” I suspect (please dear reader understand this is my perception and I am not stating this as a fact) the truth is some of, if not all, these leaders used their displeasure with prior leadership (in the SBC) to send paltry percentages to the CP of the SBC. Now it has come home to roost. “What did we do to deserve this?” We ignored the one thing that brought us together (CP and Missions) when we elected our leaders. Why? Because we had to put forward “electable leaders.” Now we want to only elect leaders whose churches give 10% to the CP and we have the audacity to refer to it as the tithe of the church – talk about “extra-biblical.” Churches may well choose to give 10% to the CP but to suggest it the equivalent responsibility to tithing is a bit of a stretch if not manipulative.
I think there is a way forward together. It simply may require us to more honestly answer the question, “What did we do to deserve this?”