|Out of Focus, II, (unfinished) jfd+, 2012|
An individual who worked with me at one point in my life was an incredibly good actor. This person was able to make people feel (at least for a while) that she really cared about those folks with whom she was interacting. When she was away from those people, not a kind or nice word would pass from her lips when she would describe those interactions, or those individuals in passing. The inauthenticity was stunning, and challenging to know how to counteract the harm being caused. For harm was caused when her true nature came to be known.
Inauthenticity and dishonest behavioral traits undermine true authority. Jesus knows, in Luke's Gospel today, that the scribes and priests challenging him are not able to interact with him with any degree of truthfulness. And he traps them in their own web of deceit, showing them how little authority they truly posses.
Being honest and truly ourselves to those we meet is the only way to garner any kind of true authority in any of the relationships in our lives. This first Monday of our new church year, this first Monday of this short Advent Season, our scriptural readings push us to live into our true selves and be those honest brokers in the world, perhaps not making us the most popular kids on the block, but we will be the ones with all the true authority.
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.