Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures for Sunday, June 17th  

Love.  It’s both a noun and a verb.  Yet often times it seems like in the church we’re better at talking about it as a concept, subject or noun as opposed to actively, creatively and imaginatively doing it.  As I wrestle with the passage for this Sunday I’m struck by the two encounters including in the proposed reading.  The first is a hypothetical situation posed as a philosophical conundrum by the religious rulers of the day (the Sadducees).  Jesus responds directly, bluntly telling them that their question isn’t the correct one to be asking.  Rather than dealing in hypotheticals, they should be living in reality, not wondering who is the neighbor they should love, but actually practicing what they preach.  I read that and wonder how it interrogates me and challenges my life?  How do I practice love more as a noun than as a verb?  And is it an either/or situations or a both/and one?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Questions for going deeper with the Scriptures for 
Sunday, June 10th  

Authority.  That’s the key issue underneath the scriptures that we wrestle with this morning.  The religious leaders of the day are challenged and confused by the authority that Jesus seems to have.  Their antagonism seems to come from the fact that he has taken a different path then they have.  He’s not studied like them.  He doesn’t speak like them.  He’s outside of their sphere of influence.  Are they jealous?; insecure?; threatened?; close-minded?  What we see throughout the text is the fear the leaders have of the crowd (11:32 & 12:12).  The leaders are politically isolated, fearful of the very people they purportedly serve.  As I study the text I find myself wondering how I – how we as a faith community – are like these leaders – out of touch with the crowd, the people on the street, the larger population? How are we stuck in our own box and unable to think outside of it?  How do we understand that in a time of great, radical and overwhelming change that impacts us in terms of society, technology, relationships, communication and life-style?  How do we act as coherent, authentic followers of Jesus in a world that is increasingly pluralistic?