On this day when we remember our mothers, let us offer our prayers to Jesus, the son of Mary. Because on this earth we are all sons and daughters of Eve, let us pray for the whole world and the church universal, that we might behold each other as brothers and sisters. Lord in your mercy. Hear our Prayer. As Rebecca gave birth to Jacob, and in so doing she gave birth to a whole […]
What does being “born again” mean? How does it work? Being born a first time seems like enough of a miracle – how can a second time be any better? And, if being born again is absolutely necessary, do you get to have another baby shower when it happens? Or, maybe another belly button? Jesus tells Nicodemus, a curious Pharisee who comes to Jesus during the night, that “no one can see the kingdom of […]
I don't have all the answers, I don't know if I'm on God's side or not, I'm just trying to muddle my way through - but all the while seeking truth and mercy.
The story of God and humanity is a covenant-story. And the story tells us, and shows us, over and over again, that God always seeks to be in relationship with us. And, admittedly, the story also shows how we always try to wriggle out of the deal. And, yet, God never stops the pursuit.
And here, in the 17th chapter of Luke, Jesus takes his disciples to a place that is in-between. They aren't in the land of the Samaritans. And they aren't home either. Where are they? They're nowhere. They're everywhere. As much as liminal periods are opportunities for danger, they are also opportunities for growth. Liminal periods are places where we can grow, where we can 'find ourselves,' and where we can orient our lives to shape what the next room we'll inhabit will look like. Where are we going? Where is God taking our lives? When we're beneath the limnus we can take the opportunity to find out. To ask God. To make it happen.
But, about an hour later I was in an ambulance taking me to the emergency room, not far from where Washington wintered with his troops. I was fine. I had strained my back, and I just had to take it east for a few days. That wasn't going to be so hard to do with the narcotic pain killers and the muscle relaxers that I was prescribed. I could barely talk and gesture at the same time. I was fine, sure, but I couldn't move. Everything was difficult. I had trouble feeding myself, going to the bathroom, and walking up and down the stairs. I had trouble laying down in bed, and I had trouble getting out of bed.
And so, here I sit, in a chic New York City restaurant, overlooking the Hudson River (ok, I had a salad...), and ready to go back into the safe and beautiful confines of The Cloisters... and here I sit typing on my iPad, and periodically checking my email and Facebook on my iPhone... And what I have to ruminate on is "sell your possessions..." Oh man.
But, this isn't a simple parable meant to ward us off of greed. It's a story to demonstrate two different interior predispositions. Do we live with a predisposition towards God, or to anything else? That's what this passage is about. And Jesus' point is the point of the Old Testament, according to Dr. Freedman: living a life predisposed to coveting anything is the road that leads to sin. And it's a well worn path. And it's a path that leads no where good.
Yes, this has been a rambling post, written by one who is still a little off-kilter from international travel, and who pines after the verdant hills of the Mother Country. But, here's what I want to say about prayer: it's important. It effects not only people, but places. It soaks into stone and wood, and grafts itself into the landscape. It's becoming rarer and rarer, apparently even in churches. And, it needs to be neither long nor impressive to be a holy experience.
A basket of summer fruit. Our lesson begins with a beautiful image, so appropriate to the season. A basket of summer fruit that God sets before His people. Ah, isn't all right in the universe? "The end has come upon my people Israel;I will never again pass them by.The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,"says the Lord GOD;"the dead bodies shall be many,cast out in every place. Be silent!" Oh. Oh dear.