Saturday, June 27, 2020

In a Pandemic

It's Saturday.  The day following the Crucifixion.  All hope has been wrenched away.  Terror reigns over what is left.  

We know what the disciples did not:  Resurrection is coming.  It's the last thing on their minds.  They are shaken.  They are hiding.

After our own peace is gone, when some terror invades our day and we are in the space of unknowns, the space of affliction, are we holed up somewhere like the disciples were?  Like them, are we stunned into paralysis?

But resurrection is coming!  When Jesus appears, there is disbelief and shock and there is glory!  Suddenly, so much is revealed:  the truths Jesus spoke about now seem real to the disciples. Eternity looks different.  Not only is He alive, but the disciples are enlivened.  They and the world will never be the same.

This is our Saturday.  Instead of cowering in fear, what if we looked for the glory of God?  Could a new reality emerge that would give us a new way to live?  Understandably, we cannot foresee on this, our Saturday, what may be brought to life later, but let's take this Saturday to grieve, heal and anticipate.  Especially, to look for that which would give glory to God!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Our Faith...

Our faith is in 
God the Maker
     Seen in creation
     Revealed in Scripture
     Experienced within,

Jesus His Son
     Known through his life
     Revealed in Scripture
     Experienced within,

The Holy Spirit
     Known in history
     Revealed in Scripture
     Experienced within.

For the Word of God in scripture
     within us
     among us
     reveals a living and active God.

Spirit of the living God,
Fall fresh on me.
Bless me.
Bless those in the world.
Bless us through this day.
Let us be part of the revealed and experienced love of God.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


John 8:2-11

Early in the morning, Jesus came again to the temple.  All the people came to him and he sat down and taught them...

Here is Jesus asserting himself as teacher and many gave him an audience.  He is in the middle of several  teaching opportunities and confrontations with the religious leaders during the time of the Festival of Shelters, a time of celebration and gratitude by the Jewish nation.  He had hesitated to go at first, because he knew he was a marked man, but in his own time he went.  And in his own time, he took his seat and began teaching.  In the middle of the feast. In full view of the crowds and the religious elite.

After a couple of days of this, the religious leaders vacillated between awe and feeling threatened, so they plotted a public entrapment:

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and placing her in the midst of the crowd, they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery..."

While they sought to condemn her, their real intention was to trick Jesus into some heresy or blasphemy by which they could have some charge to bring against him (vs 6).  As Jesus has been demonstrating his power and authority to set the standard in his teaching, the religious authorities recognized the power he held and wanted to subvert it, if possible.

I love how he was clever enough to not be tricked by their obvious question:  "Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.  What do you say?"

Jesus turns it into a judgment on the Pharisees and scribes:  turning the condemnation they tried to exert onto the woman, instead, onto themselves.  Jesus calls out the real perpetrators of the crime in this case:  male, religious, a patriarchal and misogynist culture.  He knows that the woman  is a victim of gender placement in the minority culture of womanhood.  He has compassion for her.

"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 

There it is!  Busted!  The condemned cannot condemn others.  Jesus didn't judge them, he let them judge themselves.  He let them own their truth about their own positional righteousness (or lack thereof).  

One by one, they slipped away.  How many of them might have actually used this sex slave, as all prostitutes are?  How many of them realized the eyes that were on them from the crowd, who had also bore the religious elite's high-minded judgments? 

Remember the marginalized and how their victim status might be perpetuated by your own actions.  Be careful how you judge others:  it could be the standard by which you are judged.  It's time we all came clean and told the truth about ourselves, at least to ourselves.