The Waystead is a Hermitage of the Lindisfarne Community, established with the intent to foster the love of God in the world. My resolve is to follow the Way of the One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.
I trust that by thoughtfully founding, and steadfastly keeping, a dwelling place and setting it apart as a place of prayer, reflection, and contemplation, I will be able to hold onto that resolve.
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14 Offer thanksgiving as your sacrifice to God,
pay your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me when you are in trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Exodus 34: 1- 17
15 Do not make a covenant with the people
living in the land. It will cause you to go astray after their gods and
sacrifice to their gods. Then they will invite you to join them in eating their
1 Thessalonians 2: 13- 20
you heard the Word of God from us, you received it not merely as a human word,
but as it truly is, God’s Word, which is at work in you believers.
Matthew 5:21- 26
23 So if you are offering your gift at the
Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against
you, 24 leave your gift where it is by the altar, and
go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. 25 If
someone sues you, come to terms with him quickly, while you and he are on the
way to court; or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the
officer of the court, and you may be thrown in jail! 26 Yes
indeed! I tell you, you will certainly not get out until you have paid the last
I’m feeling a bit abrupt today, and not inclined to burble
on about my interpretations.
The Psalm says to me that I might as well quit dwelling on
my misery and ‘pay my vows.’ I also noted that in the very next breath after the
instruction about offering thanksgiving, the psalm says ‘when you are in
trouble.’ My Zen buddy Rensho posted a thing on FB about how “life always gives
us the teacher we need.” So, my inference is that when we are in trouble and call
on God, then God will show us how our troubles are exactly the teacher we need.
Also, I noticed that God promises to deliver
us, not to comfort us, pamper us, or make excuses for us.
The reading from Exodus says to me that it’s always a bad
idea to make covenants with other people when their first priority is ‘living
in the land.’ I did that, I made a covenant with someone whose intentions I
mistook; who failed in her promises; and whose choices I am not capable of
understanding. It did indeed “cause me to go astray after their gods, and
sacrifice to their gods.” In the simple fact of sharing a household there were a
hundred and one different ways in which my own good intentions got laid down as
infernal paving stones. I always liked that saying, and I think I’m going to
dig it out of the bottom of my theological junk drawer, dust it off and hang it
on the wall for a while— “The road to
Hell is paved with good intentions.”
The reading from Thessalonians says to me that whether I cooperate
or not; whether I understand or not; whether I’m aware of it happening or not; the
living Word keeps right on working in me through the agency of my trust in God
and God’s trust in me. I don’t have to do a single thing except to keep on
Matthew’s Gospel says to me, “See how right I was?” It doesn’t
quite sound like “I told you so,” but close. I am doing my best to answer by
scrambling to “come to terms” in every way I know how. I mean that literally!
Fairness is beside the point when it comes to legal stuff. Once lawyers come
into the picture, then everything else loses importance compared to the effort
to stay out of court. All I can say is, that it’s a really good thing that I am
practicing non-attachment to material things, and that I was already pursuing
the ideal of a simple, minimalist lifestyle.
I’m doing my best to avoid the trap of saying to myself, “What
a naïve fool I was!” That brings me back full circle to the Psalm:
sticking it out, okay? —
bragging on how I always keep my promises,
getting out of the way and letting my promises keep me.
And yeah, I’m
calling on you, big time!
Just let me
out, and quit teasing me
old light at the end of the tunnel, will ya?
And I’d be
glad to give you a rain-check for that honor—
Acts 11:1-18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 11 The emissaries and the brothers throughout Y’hudah heard that the Goyim had received the word of God; 2 but when Kefa went up to Yerushalayim, the members of the Circumcision faction criticized him, 3 saying, “You went into the homes of uncircumcised men and even ate with them!” 4 In reply, Kefa began explaining in detail what had actually happened: 5 “I was in the city of Yafo, praying; and in a trance I had a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it came down to me. 6 I looked inside and saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, crawling creatures and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!’ 8 I said, ‘No, sir! Absolutely not! Nothing unclean or treif has ever entered my mouth!’ 9 But the voice spoke again from heaven: ‘Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled back up into hea…
3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself. 6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners.
Blood money. The priests seem to have been unaware of the irony that it was their own actions which tainted the money in the first place. It also seems that it never occurred to them that their own agent would repudiate them by returning the money. Talk about cognitive dissonance!
John 1:19-28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 20 he was very straightforward and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Then who are you?” they asked him. “Are you Eliyahu?” “No, I am not,” he said. “Are you ‘the prophet,’ the one we’re expecting?” “No,” he replied. 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? — so that we can give an answer to the people who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 He answered in the words of Yesha‘yahu the prophet, “I am 'The voice of someone crying out: ‘In the desert make the way of Adonai straight!’” (Isaiah 40:3) English Standard Version (ESV) 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight *the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” *Or ‘crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight’
I was caught by the difference between “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” and “a voice crying out, “in the wilderness make straight”.” I thought, “What difference does it make?” but I kept feeling that somehow it did.