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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Set to “The Silent
Dove in the Distance”.
9 (8) You have kept count of my wanderings;
store my tears in your water-skin —
aren’t they already recorded in your book?
Distracted by the superscription— musing over what a tune
called “The Silent Dove in the Distance” might sound like.
8 Then Aharon is to cast lots for the two
goats, one lot for Adonai and
the other for ‘Az’azel. 9 Aharon is to present the goat
whose lot fell to Adonai and
offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat whose lot
fell to ‘Az’azel is to be presented alive to Adonai to be used for making atonement over it by sending it
away into the desert for ‘Az’azel.
Why two goats— one that lets us kill our sins, and one that
lets us send our sins away into the wilderness? I don’t think there are two
kinds of sins, though. I think that there are two methods of sinning or two means
by which we sin: one in which our most apt response to sin would be that of
sacrifice; of surrender; of severing, and one in which our most apt response
would be that of flight; of leave-taking; of banishment.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
15…. we who remain alive when the Lord comes
will certainly not take precedence over those who have died.
I don’t like the linear timeline that results in the kind of
concept often jokingly referred to as “Pie in the Sky By-and-By”. On the other
hand……. as I bounced sideways off of this reading, in a paraphrastic but useful
way I hope, I tried this: “What remains
alive when the Lord comes will not take precedence over what has died.” I
can hear old man Zen clearing his throat over there in the corner, right about
now. There’s a Zen koan about that, you know: ”Dead or Alive? — I won’t say; I won’t say!”
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 (Matthew 6:1-18)
(I always read the omitted verses whenever the reading has
been redacted by the anonymous editors of the Lectionary….)
3 But you, when you do tzedakah, don’t even let your left hand know what your right
hand is doing. 4 Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you
do in secret, will reward you.
(7 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on
like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. 8 Don’t
be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 You,
therefore, pray like this:)
“Maimonides says that, while the second highest form of tzedakah is to give donations
anonymously to unknown recipients, the highest form is to give a gift, loan, or
partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of
living upon others.” (Quote from Wikipedia article on tzedakah.)
It helps me to imagine that all of my efforts over the past
two and a half years have been the highest form of tzedakah. Whether or not I
understand what’s going on; regardless of how much misery I’m in at the present
moment; I know for certain that my intentions have always been clear— to hold a
space for my friend to find her own freedom and autonomy without any need to co-opt
or appropriate my ideas and choices in place of her own. If I think of my task
as that of being the guardian and custodian of a clear space; a space empty of all
expectations, entanglements, assumptions and dependencies, then I can see how
the present state of affairs came about.
If someone has exhausted every means available of creating and
maintaining a co-dependent, entangled relationship, and this person suddenly realizes
that this is what they have been attempting to do— well, then, I can see how
that person might make every effort to sever all connection with the person who
has been the target of all those attempts at enmeshment.
I can see how imperative the need for separation might be in
such circumstances, and how impossible it would be for the person engaged in such
a strenuous process of individuation to make any effort to consider the other
person’s feelings. I can also understand how it might feel as if it’s necessary
to refuse to interact with, or even speak to the other person.
Of course, I know that this understanding of what is happening
might be entirely off-base, but I can’t see any harm in proceeding as if it
were true. It helps me keep my balance, and it opens a channel for compassion…not
just for her, but for myself. It allows good-will to unfold in that same empty
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.