13 May 2012 The Big Picture
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 | Psalm 98 | 1 John 4:7-10 | John 15:9-17
[_01_] One of my professors in college pointed out the way in which William Shakespeare would have his servants – his actors, the actors in his players – do what he commanded them.
The “commands” were written in the script.
Shakespeare would issue commands while also concealing some very important information. In the time of Shakespeare, the Elizabethan era in England, the time of Queen Elizabeth I [the First], around the year 1600, there were no copyrights, no agents, no attorneys, no agents to protect William Shakespeare … who is the pre-eminent playwright, one of the greatest writers in the English language, and the owner of very valuable intellectual property. To protect that property from those who might copy it and profit from a copy.
So, in those days, he would give parts of the script to each actor who would only receive his or her own lines, his or her own cues. But, they would not receive the entire script.
This was to protect his property, his investment and to prevent Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, or The Comedy of Errors from being produced Off-Off-Broadway or in Las Vegas …in a pirated version.
Shakespeare would conceal the full story – the big picture - from his “servants”, from his actors.
[_02_] Reading this Gospel, John Chapter 15, Jesus offers us the big picture, i.e., the long range or overall view of a complex matter.
In this new picture, Jesus invites us to be his friends rather than his servants.
“A slave does not know what is master is doing.” Slaves - servants - would not immediately know – comprehend / understand – what their masters are doing.
A servant may feel forced to act in a certain way, to follow a certain script, even if he or she does not understand the consequences or the strategy being carried out.
Our feeling – our attitude – toward a friend is different.
We do not respond to a friend out of a reward system, but because of a relationship.
Also, isn’t the act of forgiveness also changed – upgraded – by friendship. We extend this forgiveness – our seek it – not due to a really eloquent apology but because we believe mercy is God’s gift.
This is the big picture.
We participate in the life of Christ by forgiving others, and by seeking forgiveness.
[_03_] Another example with immediate financial-market / stock market implications this week is the manner in which intellectual property is protected in Silicon Valley, California.
Software. Technology. This week, Facebook, is supposed to go public.
And, we know that Mark Zuckerberg has protected his property very carefully. This is property developed first in his dorm room – with his roommates – at Harvard. Then, he and his partners started a company, moving to northern California, and are now going public.
The 2010 movie, The Social Network, portrays the drama of this concealment. Only a few individuals know – or still know – what Facebook is all about.
So, there is a similarity in Stratford-upon-Avon and Silicon Valley. Only a few will know the big picture.
[_04_] This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Today is a day to recall our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and the mothers and wives we still try to support.
Raising you and me, our mothers accepted heavy burdens willingly and sometimes also heartbreaking challenges. They did so freely, coming to understand their motherhood is a gift made by God shared not with servants but with friends.
Our mothers also taught us perseverance, persistence.
We might say that a servant is one who does not yet what – if any questions to ask. Our mothers also taught us to serve, to be generous even at those times that we did not understand the big picture, when we did not understand why…for they also began serving before they had all the answers – or even the questions/syllabus.
And, in many ways, they did so when they did not completely know what they were doing… or what before they knew what – if any ---questions to ask …
The servent is one who gains insight by listening, being present. Our mothers are those servants – and they are servants who bought their own freedom – who purchased their liberty – by loving us.
And, in so doing, they have also grasped the big picture and protected the investment and image (Genesis 1:27) which God has made in us. [_fin_]