Wednesday, January 25, 2012

 Blogging Towards Sunday, January 29th 

This pericope (section of the gospel) seems to be perfect for us as we gather today for worship and our shared ministry work of discernment, discipleship and rededication as a community of faith at our annual congregational meeting.  Mark tells this story in juxtaposition with the story of the horrific feast at which the 1% of ancient Palestine gorge themselves at the table of Herod Antipas and punctuate the debauchery with the beheading of John the Baptizer all for a king to avoid shame and his mistress to exact revenge on a too courageous prophet.  (Mark 6:14-29)

In the larger scheme of Mark’s retelling of the Jesus story, we see that these two contrasted stories about feasts follow Jesus sending out the twelve disciples to do ministry (Mark 6:6-13).  On one hand it’s remarkable that he would dare to do so: the disciples seem so clueless:  They were terrified by Jesus’ calming of the story (Mark 5:35-41).  They don’t seem to get the parables and basic teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:10).  And yet on the other hand, Jesus has redefined family – the principal thing in terms of identity in the ancient world.  Family isn’t about your family name, your gender, your tribe; but rather it’s about who you follow and how you follow them in your life.  For Jesus, anyone who follows God, seeking to do God’s will in the world, is part of his family.  So in the end the disciples might not be 100% clear on what’s going on, but they get the big picture (even if not very clearly).  They too seek to know God, to follow God, and to do God’s will in the world.  Maybe we ourselves are not all that different than the disciples today?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Towards Sunday, January 8th 

As I read this pericope (section of the gospel) it seems to be about authenticity and boldness.  How far are we called to go in standing for what we believe to be right?  How bold are we in proclaiming what we believe to be true, right, gospel-good-news?  Do we proclaim it with just words, or do we do so with all of our lives and livelihoods?  In a world that often is toxically tainted by hypocrisy, polished messages, photoshopped images and smooth talkers who promise everything, I’ve been told to not lose my head.  No one expects you to go that far in doing what you think, or what the Bible says.  And yet in a world that’s bankrupt of belief in promises made – whether that be by politicians, bankers, bosses, union leaders or clergy – aren’t we all looking for some sort of authenticity that’s organically earned by doing what is preached and promised?   In my life, I first had a transformational faith experience as an adolescent when I encountered and dialogued with people – principally adults who weren’t in my nuclear DNA based family – who actually did what they believed and what Jesus taught.  It was experiencing that radicalness that shaped and reshaped me.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012

  Blogging Towards Sunday, January 8th  

We return to the Gospel of Mark after a Christmas hiatus to a challenge of Jesus’ identity and legitimacy.  The texts begins with several linguistic cues that things are going to change. Whenever there is a geographical switch in the gospels, that’s to say a movement from one place to another, it’s not just topography that’s in view.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

My Top 10 Reasons For Why I Love Oakland

Oakland is the infamous ugly step-sister city to the Cinderella post-card perfection of San Francisco.  Novella Carpeter, [her blog] one of the most recently famous Oaklanders because of her urban foodie efforts and recent book, coined this fairytalesque metaphor for my favorite city.  In 2011 the Town (as opposed to the “City” as we Nor Cal-ers call San Francisco) was made famous by the indecisiveness of our mayor Jean Quan and the destructive thuggery of our non-native majority occupiers confronted with violence by our friendly neighborhood police department.  While the Oakland all too often only gets a bad rap, it’s much like Brooklyn is to Manhattan: the place the Cultural Creatives, hipsters and Bobos call home while they do their thing.
10.  The YMCA
9.  The Weather
8.  The Views
7.  The Parks
6.  It’s a Foodie Shrine
5.  It’s an Urban Farming Mecca
4.  Failing Successful Public Education
3.  Urban Grit: Lake Merritt
2.  Urban Graffiti Art & Politics: Oaklandish & The Grand Lake Theater Marquee
1. The People

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Monteskewed Moving Soon to a New Blog Site

I'm working on creating a new blog on a different url.  I'll be moving in the next few weeks.  As I'm working I'm imagining that I'll blog about the following things:

Oakland Public Schools or Raising a child in a Public Urban School
Foodie Things
Urban Gardening
Blogging Towards Sunday through Scripture
Reflections on the Church in the 21st century

If you read the blog what do you like?  Is there something else that I should include, or maybe something I should eliminate?