Showing posts from January, 2020

Less Than a Hairsbreadth

Hebrews 4:1-13

12 See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. 13 Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Thisreading always reminds me of a passage from a text famous in martial arts circles—

“The Unfettered Mind” by Takuan Soho; which talks about “not even the breadth of a hair.”

Here it is:
“There is such a thing as an interval into which not even a hair can be put. We can speak about this in terms of your own martial art. “Interval” is when two things come one upon another and not even a hairsbreadth can be slipped in between them. When you clap your hands and, just at that instant, let out a yell, the interval between clapping your hands and letting out a…

Darkness Never Sustains

“Darkness never sustains!” — Dr. Who (Thirteenth)

From the Daily Lectionary for Jan 7: Colossians 1:1-14

(1:13-14) “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and relocated us in the realm of his beloved Child, in whom we have freedom— letting go of our fatal flaws.”

(My hodgepodge transliteration)

Lately, I’m all about using alternative words instead of the oh-so-familiar words from scripture that we all know— “Sin”; “Redemption”; “Son of God”; “Deliverance” and so on..

I usually get all involved in looking up the meaning of the Greek words in various sources, and also trying to sort out what the cultural context might have been of certain words.

Today I got hung up on the word “hamartia” which is usually translated as “sin” or “transgressions”. Those words have collected an odor of guilt and punishment, but I don’t think the word hamartia originally had that particular stink.

It was Aristotle who first used the word, in his book “Poetics”. He lived about 300 years before the Christ E…


Psalm 68

God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. (ESV)

I remember being struck before by the first line of verse 6, and so of course I was drawn to the same verse.. but what stood out for me this time was the phrase, “the rebellious.” I immediately recognized those rebellious types eking out their time in the dry land, because that’s where I am right now. But I wasn’t thinking along the lines of staggering survivors with cracked lips and sunburn blisters. No, it was more like I imagined being in a bare, unadorned, ordinary place; a mundane locale; a bit dreary. I had to ask myself, “Am I here in the dry land because I’m rebellious, or am I rebellious because I’m here in the dry land?”

At this point, Old Man Zen suddenly turns into Coyote; sneaks up behind my back; steals my canteen, and then runs up to the top of the mesa, looks down at me, and cackles —

“Now you’ve really got something to whine about, …