What's Tony Thinking

As The Week Ends . . .


We went to see the Tom Hanks movie, “A Man Called Otto,” in an actual theater the other day. It is based on the novel, “A Man Called Ove” by Frederick Backmann. It also owes something to the 2009 Clint Eastwood movie, “Gran Torino,” about another isolated, grumpy old man. Like Eastwood, Hanks makes a lot of “grrrr” sounds.

Otto is a man full of grief and anger, occasioned by the recent death of his beloved wife, and an earlier accident in which she, pregnant, was paralyzed and they lost their baby. But it’s a law/ grace kind of movie. Otto is obsessed with keeping the rules and all the idiots who don’t. But the law won’t save him. Grace, in the person, of a new neighbor, a Mexican woman named Marisol, and her family, do what the law cannot. Check it out.

Speaking of grace, I liked this recent item from Nadia Bolz-Weber’s blog “Corners.” Here’s NBW, ”

“Recently in a Q and A someone asked me what I thought Jesus would think of the church were he to return today – assuming I’d answer with something like he’d say what’s up with those fancy vestments and organ music? – but instead I answered ‘I think he’d be curious why his church doesn’t talk about forgiveness of sins nearly as much as he did.'” It’s the key to compassion, which I’m working on, though more through the mindfulness than the New Year’s resolution route.

Sermons. Okay, I thought this was the week, after ten weeks in a row of writing and posting sermons, that I would give it up. But guess not. Couldn’t help myself. So a sermon will appear again, either Saturday or Sunday, on this week’s lectionary gospel text. But with — hopefully — an extra, which is an Zoom recording of same.

Some of you have said, “Love the sermons, but would be great to be able to listen to them.” As some of you have rightly pointed out sermons, and in this you echo St. Paul, sermons are meant to be heard not read. The eyes tend to route stuff to the head, the ears to the heart. Don’t know why that is. But it may be why Jesus is called the Logos, the Word of God, and not the Book of God.

Meanwhile, the State of Washington, finds itself in an unusually fortuitous position. Which is an abundance of quality candidates for Governor. At least three. The current King County Executive, Dow Constantine. The State’s Attorney General, Rob Ferguson. And the Commissioner of Public Lands, Hillary Franz. These days crappy and crazy candidates for political seems the norm, more often than not.

But look at us. Three good candidates. This all assumes that the incumbent, Jay Inslee, won’t pursue a fourth term. Let’s hope not. Maybe he’ll try again for President? Joe, make up your mind, and do the right thing. Of the three above, I lean toward Franz who has done a great job in her current role.

And the Seahawks have a playoff game Saturday against the 49er’s. It seems highly unlikely that the Hawks will not suffer yet a third drubbing this season at the hands of San Francisco. But everyone loves an underdog.




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