High Stakes …

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.  


Pastor Kris

About Pastor Kris

Hello.  I'm Rev. Kristine Eggert, retired after serving as Senior Pastor of Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I'm the Co-Founder and Executive Director of God Before Guns, a multi faith coalition of individuals and faith communities working to end gun violence.  In retirement, I believe God is calling me to work as a progressive Christian activist in social justice causes.
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1 Response to High Stakes …

  1. Pat says:

    I didn’t mean to put you on the spot at the end of a busy Sunday morning. (You were probably like, “what does a lottery have to do with stoning?”) I thought I might just email you privately about it, but I didn’t want to forget. I won’t go into detailed comments here, because I want others to read (or re-read) the story and maybe we’ll all have some literary discussion here. One of the main themes, I think, is how normalcy and UNnormalcy can coxist. For me, this is what may connect the story to the killing of BinLaden and some people’s attitudes toward that event. I hope to see others’ thoughts on this very powerful piece of short fiction.

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