Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, August 1, 2010

In the wake of 9/11, the the burst of the mortgage bubble meltdown, Bernie Maddock ponzi schemes, and decreasing church membership roles, questions of security dominate our national, cultural  and church psyches.  How can we be safe from future terrorist attacks?  How can we be financially secure when everything seems to anything but?  Can life be sure and secure?  And how does faith through Christ fit into our wonderings.  Trust in God, is the answer.  Yet while it's easy to recite, it's often much harder to live day to day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, July 18, 2010

We read the scriptures as a community each week as a practice that shapes us and sends us; a big story that frames our way of seeing, being and believing.  What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?  What does that look like?  This week's gospel lesson, as always, offers direction.  Clear, concise, to the point, but also a bit vague, we often tend to oversimplify it in our reading.  Mary is the good one.  Martha is wrong.  She should have listened to the words of Jesus instead of working so hard.  A black and white answer for life that is more grey than two-tone.

Martha is doing what is required, preparing and offering hospitality, fitting of her guest - paramount in the cultural context both then and still today, of the Middle East.  Doesn't Jesus criticize the Pharisee who hosts him yet doesn't wash his feet, leaving the task to the tears of the mysterious woman [Luke 7]?  Doesn't Jesus himself use this task of hospitality (washing the feet of a guest) as a pedagogical experience to show the disciples what it means to serve one another [John 13]?  While we do need to first receive the gospel, it is most often by our actions, presence, relationships - and hospitality - that we reflect what we have received.  So it can't simply be an existential choice of being like Mary or being like Martha.