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Showing posts from June, 2017

My Two Cents

Reflections on Lindisfarne Understanding Number 3: “3. Love is to be at the heart of the Lindisfarne Community. “Love your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies. The immensity of the task makes it naturally impossible! Yet we are called to be a community of love. We need to remember, it is God's love, not ours; perfect, eternal, constant. With God's love there are no strings attached, no conditions to be met, no favoritism. Yet it is not sentimental nor romantic, for love is not merely a feeling, it is an act of will; the “naked intent” of the heart to love God, neighbor and enemy. There is the deepest of all joy in the love of God. We seek to learn to love, to walk in love, to exult in love, to make love our highest aim, to let God's love fill us completely. Our desire is to be free within the love of our heavenly Father-Mother --- to know God's passionate love for us and to live our lives from within God&#…

Yeesh!

Psalm 82
6Now I say to you, 'You are gods, * and all of you children of the Most High; 7Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, * and fall like any prince.'"
Malachi 3:1-5
2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap;
John 3:22-30
27….,No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. (And also from the commemoration reading; Matthew 11: "John is a prophet and more than a prophet. He is the one spoken of in Malachi 3:1, the messenger who comes to prepare the way of the LORD. No man born of woman is greater than John, but the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John.") 
At first I intended to abandon my recent notion of trying to find a unifying theme in the readings for the day. Today is the commemoration of John the Baptist, and so the NT reading is left out. But. The first thing that grabbed me was in the Psalm, which I usually don’t include. It reminded me of …

Tables Turned

1 Samuel 1:21-2:11 22But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the LORD, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time." Acts 1:15-26 ‘23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, 'Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.' 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. Luke 20:19-26 24'Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?' They said, 'The emperor's.' 25He said to them, 'Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's.' I’m still sticking with the practice of lookin…

Heaven Forbid

1 Samuel 1:1-20 20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the LORD." Acts 1:1-14 7He replied, 'It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…’ Luke 20:9-19 "This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours." 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.' When they heard this, they said, 'Heaven forbid!' 17But he looked at them and said, 'What then does this text mean: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone"? From yesterday’s reading (Genesis); Sunday 6/18 But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”…. [The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had…

Beyond Our Mortal Hearing

Ecclesiasticus 45:6-16
9 And he encircled him with pomegranates, with many golden bells all around, to send forth a sound as he walked, to make their ringing heard in the temple as a reminder to his people;
That’s Aaron’s priestly robe they are talking about, which was hung about at the hem with bells, and tassels intended to represent pomegranates, but I didn’t know that when I first read it, I was just tickled by the idea of being “encircled with pomegranates.” Of course I looked it up, and found that pomegranates go way back in mythology, always representing life and fertility. Greek myth, Jewish mystical symbolism, and Christian iconography. They are even pictured in the earliest European depiction of Christ in a mosaic. Originally found in Dorset, it’s supposed to go back to the 4th century. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinton_St_Mary) They also represent resurrection, which is awesome because it ties Christ’s resurrection to the archetypal personification of Spring as the resurr…

Grace is sufficient

Sirach 44:19-45:5
4 For his faithfulness and meekness he consecrated him, choosing him out of all humankind.
Didn’t get much out of the OT verse today, but with a little Zen seasoning I got the glimmer of something or other. It’s in the grammar.
‘For (on account of) his faithfulness and meekness…..” So Moses’s true nature was ‘trustworthy and gentle.’ Out of fidelity and amiability, grace arises. Out of grace, consent and the duty to serve all sentient beings arises.’
Like I said, it’s just a glimmer, and I’m not at all satisfied with the results of my hunt through the thesaurus.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.
This is Paul griping about boasting again. It’s pretty convoluted, but his under…

A Dose of Plain-and-Simple

Psalm 72
3That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.
How is it that mountains bring prosperity, or little hills bring righteousness? What? Such a strange couple of phrases. After looking at a few commentaries, I’m not very satisfied. The common understanding seems to be that the hills and mountains were not cultivated like the plains, and were also places where wild beasts, robbers and bad guys hung out. In other words, dangerous and inimical places. My trouble with the commentaries is that none of them looked at the verb “bring.” All of them elided it in favor of something more like “become.” ‘The mountains and hills will become prosperous and righteous and bring forth fruit…..’So, I went back to the verb “bring,” and considered how mountains with their wild beasts, and hills with their robber’s hideouts could (without becoming any different in their nature) bring prosperity, peace, and righteousness to God’s people. So how could a…