She came through my line at the door after worship and said, “have you ever read The Lottery?” It was an unexpected question, and I replied quickly that I had not — but after preaching twice on a Sunday morning, I’m lucky to remember my name! As a preaching colleague used to say — it’s like having jello for brains! She promised to send me a link and wanted to know what I thought.
Later in the day over a relaxing dinner, it started coming back to me. David and I agreed that we must have read it in a high school literature class. I re-read it this morning. I only wish I’d known to do that before I preached yesterday.
The sermon that prompted her challenge to me was the story of the Stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:55-60). I’ m always glad to know that people are listening, but even more than that, I hope there’s a connection that relates to every day living. I was blessed on both counts! She was listening, and she could not have been more right-on topic.
Read it for yourself. It won’t take but a few minutes. http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lotry.html. Originally published in the New Yorker Magazine in 1948, you’ll be surprised how eerie the message and how sinister are its characters. You’ll find several commentaries on-line, but as she suggested to me — let it haunt you awhile first.
Couldn’t happen, right? Especially not to such nice folks as us.