Thursday, July 19, 2012

Questions for going deeper 
with the Scriptures for Sunday, July 22nd   

Show and Tell.  That’s both the game and the expression that keeps bouncing around in my mind while I wrestle with this text from Mark’s gospel telling.  Increasingly it seems that the best way to talk about faith in Jesus is to show it – to live what he taught, practice what he preached, draw close to the people, needs and purposes to which he drew close.  It seems like there are too many words – too many things spoken and said – in our culture inundated with words, images, status updates, tweets and programs.  What we hunger for is an encounter, human interaction.  And yet while a picture says a thousand words, and an encounter can be expressed in a novel – words still are vital, the bedrock of how we communicate, share what we know and name what we live.  Where is the balance between showing and telling faith in our pluralistic postmodern image inundated society?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures for Sunday, July 15th   

Apocalypse.  The word has many connotations for us. Even more in this year of 2012 seen as auspicious and foreboding in the Mayan Calendar which stops at it.  Our current pop culture imagination is seemingly obsessed by it.  We can see that in the ever popular Zombie catastrophes that have become the major theme of many movies, shows and books.

Is it merely a way to sell books, products and movies or is it a deeper fascination or fear of where our world is headed in the sociological jungle of the Arab Spring, deepening technological dependence, growing social isolation and the ever-widening global market? Often times apocalyptic talk can push towards a fight or flight mentality: fight to preserve the purity of what we’ve known, or a flight or retreat waiting for an escape or something better.  The word literally means uncovering, as in revealing something that was hidden or obscured.  Quite different than the popular and despairingly hopeless visions of total annihilation and mayhem.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures for Sunday, July 8th    

Greatness.  It’s what many in our society strive for, on a certain level it’s the American dream.  But what makes a person great? Wealth?  Accomplishments? Relationships?  Possessions?  Achievements? Diplomas? Having your wedding announced in the New York Times Sunday edition?  The encounters in today’s passage wrestle with the notion of greatness in Jesus’ day.  The example was the religious leaders.  Those that weren’t great were the everyday poor.  Things don’t seemed to have changed much, except that in on our culture today rare is it that the religious leaders define greatness with their example.  What makes the church so great? – at least historically?  And why do we struggle with that today?