Saturday, April 03, 2010

Saturday - Looking for God

10: It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11: And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12: Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. Luke 24

Ah men, when women come with the best, the most outrageous news ever, they don't believe them but need to check for themselves!

Now I'm not against personally checking out things but you would think that after all the time they had spent in each others company that Peter & the other men might have believed the reports from more than 3 of the women of their company. But they 'believed them not' and went to see for themselves.

What a different world we would live in if the text read something like. They rejoiced at the news and ran to see for themselves. Same actions, different attitudes.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday - Never Betrayed

1: When Jesus had said these words he went out with his disciples over the stream Kedron to a garden, into which he went with his disciples. John 18

Judas's betrayal was in a garden. The 3 days of arrest, trail, death, burial and Resurrection all began in a garden. I wonder if the Evangelist John, deliberately started this train of events in the Garden of Gethsemane to echo the betrayal of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden? I think it's highly likely. Interesting thought.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thursday - Join in the Banquet

24: And when it had been broken with an act of praise, he said, This is my body which is for you: do this in memory of me. 1 Cor. 11

Bread & wine, the basics of life. Become/are/recognized as, the essence of the eternal "I AM" Can the mystery be so close at hand? Shouldn't we need to seek further to find the meaning of all things. Bread & wine, food & drink, company of friends & family, these are where the mystery is revealed. Today we start the three days of remembrance and launch ourselves to the Celebration of Easter.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wed. - A Bitter Cup

15: What will you give me, if I give him up to you? And the price was fixed at thirty bits of silver. Matthew 26

Matthew's Gospel has the gritty detail. He has the cut and dried, how much is it worth to me? Judas is more honest than many betrayers, at least in this portrait. He knows what he wants and asks for the price. When he gets it he delivers.

How many people with power to make decisions are swayed by the financial benefits, to themselves, of deciding in certain ways? How many of us are betrayed by cozy contract awards, convenient job assignments etc.? As a society, we try to regulate things into their proper places. But no matter how dense a forest of regulations the truly self serving can find a way to circumvent them.

It comes down to personal integrity and recognizing when you are being bought.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday - Contrite Hearts

26: This was the answer Jesus gave: It is the one to whom I will give this bit of bread after I have put it in the vessel. Then he took the bit of bread, put it into the vessel, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
27: And when Judas took the bread Satan went into him. Then Jesus said to him, Do quickly what you have to do. John 13

Here Judas is given his marching orders. It's not very clear to me how much actual responsibility Judas had for this betrayal. He seems to have been inclined to do it but Jesus really eggs him on here. Pointing him out and sending him off to get it done. Later, in the garden, Jesus greets him as much as Judas greets Jesus. Overall, it needed to be done, we are told, to fulfill the prophecy. I wonder how much re imagining of events the Evangelists did to connect to the various prophecies? We are told that the Holy Spirit guided the choices of the editors of the New Testament several hundred years after all the facts. Truth or even accuracy is a very slippery concept.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday - Courage

1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27

Here is the opening line of one of the popular Psalms. The speaker describes his relationship to God as to the Lord. It reads as a near perfect description of the classic European Feudal relationship. The 'servant' does as he is told and the 'lord' protects and provides all. It is a relationship that worked reasonably well for a long time of ignorance.

Trouble comes when, in a religious context, one realizes that each person is that 'special servant' to the lord and thus are all equal to each other. Our human instinct is to put ourselves as higher up the importance chain than everyone else and if we are all servants of the lord then we are all equals in his regard.

God has no trouble seeing us as equals to each other. It's we who keep looking for the edge on everyone else.

Just saying

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday - Palm Bonus

In the reading of the Passion the crowd plays an important part. They cheer with welcome at the start. Hysterically waving palms and greeting Jesus as he rides into the city. A week later they are back, equally hysterical, demanding his death.

These crowds are enthusiastic and, I would guess, heartfelt, while they praise and condemn the same person with equal vigor and reason. They were not responding to reason either time but to the well chosen words of the agitators. They were putty in the hands of the commentators that they knew and believed. They had no notion of the facts, never wanted or asked to be confused with the facts. They responded to the urgings of people who wanted their voices for their own agendas.

I hope that we can take some wisdom from their woeful experience. We should take care to examine the facts and refuse to be swayed by emotive rhetoric. We need to take note of who is paying the bill as they are likely to be the benefactors.

In the year 33 CE the crowd was wrong. the High Priests got their way and removed a rival but at what cost to the people of Israel?

Sunday - Palm Sunday

7: But he made himself as nothing, taking the form of a servant, being made like men; Philippians 2

Or conversely, he made himself in the form of a human ennobling that natural form beyond all reason.