Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blogging Towards Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chosen by a member of the church I serve as one her favorite Bible passages, these opening verses of John’s gospel are hauntingly powerful.   The words are carefully chosen by their author.  John copies and tweaks the original sentence structure of the creation story in  the first verses of book of Genesis.  The other gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) start with the birth of Jesus (Matthew & Luke) or with his baptism (Mark).  John however chooses to start at a different beginning, the beginning of the story of God’s relationship with humanity and creation.  It’s not by accident that he does that, calling Jesus the LOGOSthe Greek philosophical word used by philosophers from Socrates to Aristotle for divine wisdom, the intelligence that isn’t humanly attainable, a living word that makes life possible.  He doesn’t do it on a whim, but with carefully crafted intention.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blogging Towards Sunday, June 26 2011

This story within a story is one of my favorite Bible passages about Jesus.  For me it’s so real, easily pictured in my imagination and carries such a clearly challenging message of the radical aspect of Jesus’ love, power and person. 

Jesus is interrupted in the midst of doing his business.  On his way to visit the dying daughter of a well-known religious leader, Jesus is interrupted by a nameless woman who audaciously touches him in the midst of a jostling crowd.  His response must have been comical.  Surrounded by throngs of people, Jesus asks aloud “who touched me?” Yet he’s insistent.  The text tells us that she’s broken: physically as she’s be bleeding for 12 years, well beyond the normal timeline of a menstrual cycle.  She’s broken financially as she’s been bankrupted seeking a medical solution.  She’s broken personally and relationally, as she is considered unclean by the purity laws practiced by the Israelites (see Leviticus 12:7, 15:19-22 and 20:18), similar to how we treated those with AIDS in the 1980s and early 1990s.  She’s looking for a quick fix, a remedy; yet Jesus won’t settle for just a band aid.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blogging Towards Sunday, June 19, 2011

This passage from Jeremiah contains several verses (11-14) commonly quoted as a favorite by many readers and hearers of the Bible.  It’s a radical affirmation that God doesn’t leave us, abandon us to the cruel contexts in which we may find ourselves.  But rather God is present – even when it doesn’t seem to be so – working underneath what we see, behind the curtain, preparing, calling, healing, delivering all with a divine intention.  Isn’t that the real challenge of faith?  It’s not all that impossible to believe in a God that infinitely loves us, but it is difficult to believe and live that when life is in its most difficult, when it seems that there is no rhyme or reason for what happens, that there could not be a divine being behind it all, urging the universe towards peace, blessing and a future.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Towards Sunday,  June 5
John 17:1-11 | Community

This prayer of Jesus, at the conclusion of John's gospel story of his life and relationships, is for unity among those that he calls his community in his day and in days to come.  As I thought about community in the text, in my life and it's changing implications in our urban, multicultural, technologically-flavored city characterized first and foremost by its diversity I wondered at the current definition of COMMUNITY:  according to wikipedia it's:

In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing a populated environment. In humancommunities, intentbeliefresourcespreferencesneedsrisks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.