Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 27

This week's gospel passage contains a familiar portion of the Sermon on the Mount.  You can't serve two masters: God and Mammon or wealth.  Jesus talks of trust and loyalty.  We in our day and our Western World think of the worries that plague us: to-do-lists, fears, possibilities, unresolved situations, difficult relationships, existential angst and anxiety.  Yet Jesus is talking to folks who were worried about putting food on the table each day, enough for the children or elders to get in order to survive, worried about shelter, not more square footage, but would they - could they - be safe from the elements.  They're different, and yet similar, even with all our wealth that separates us.  Our worries plague us, chase us.  They can become the elephant in the room, no matter what we think of, they're still there.  It's easy to forget the dissonance between the anxiety we live with and that which characterized ancient Palestine in the Roman Empire.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 20, 2011

I've been thinking the past days about the text and sermon from last week - the first part of these 6 sayings of Jesus in the overall text of 5:13-48.  How can Jesus - the one who says to love your enemies - be asking so much, what seems so judgmental, destructive, impossible, unrealistic, un-Jesus-like?  It seems so much easier - and comfortable - to explain it all away.  Jesus didn't mean it, because he knew it's impossible to live out these values.  Jesus was talking to individual people in his day and age, but in our context - our world today - it's just not realistic or pragmatic.  Jesus spoke to oppressed people - inhabitants of a world occupied by the Roman Imperial power - in order to empower them to rise up and throw off their oppressor nonviolently.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 13, 2011

"If each of us could remember that we are all created in the image of God, then we would naturally want to love more."
- Dorothy Day

"How can religion cause so many wounds.... and yet be a balm of healing?"
 - Carol Howard-Merritt

What does it mean to follow Jesus?  That's the larger context of this difficult passage which contains 3 distinct yet related sayings.  Jesus is teaching in the way of the rabbis: "you've heard it said.... or the Torah says this....."  then adding a twist, his interpretation, "but I say to you..."  Each of the sayings starts with that rabbinical twist: verses 21, 27 & 31.  Jesus is talking about relationships.  He's talking in the larger context of the Beatitudes [Matthew 5:1-12]: a new worldview, a view of a new world to which we're invited to works towards and live in.  It subverts our expectations, turns our systems upside down, liberates our deepest hopes and dreams in a world of justice, peace and wholeness.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 6

Jesus continues the Teaching on the Mount.  Begun with a proclamation of a new reality - the Kingdom of God birthed in the uttering of the Beatitudes, he continues teaching on what a new way of being in this new reality looks like.  He uses metaphor and story to say what you can't quite say in words, a hope, a feeling, a thought, a promise that defies syntax.  Salt.  Light.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Celebrating Black History Month
"God is Not A White Man"

I discovered this song and video today.  It's perfect for bringing a smile.