Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Irony of Palm Sunday

 Our readings for Palm Sunday can be found by clicking on the Link

“He rode in a swirl of acclaim to His foreseen degradation and he rode in fear. John Ruskin noted the irony of Palm Sunday when he saw an ass eating palms in the huge crucifixion scene of Jacopo Tintoretto. The triumph and defeat are indeed linked, since both are messianic. Not the Messianism of wars and conquests but that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. The irony of Palm Sunday, the victory of the despised, is expressed in G. K. Chesterton’s poem, The Donkey” 

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

(Garry Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp99-100)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hour Has Come for the Son of Man to be Glorified

The good news in John12:20-33 is that we are left with Jesus’ capacity to transform the world through us. The tiny grain of wheat falls to the earth, dies, is reborn and eventually bears much fruit. Through us, His Word is brought fully into the world,  even by just one individual who touches those around him. They will be transformed, and the stories they in turn will tell, will transform others, continuing to work miracles in the lives of any who aspire to be Christ-centered for generations to come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"This voice has come for your sake, not for mine"

Just as a grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die for it to be bear new life, in our readings for this week in John 12:23-32, Jesus tells us that “…the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and raised up… And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Light Shows Our True Self

Just before our passage (3:14-21) we meet Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night. That begs the question, why wasn't he willing to come to Jesus by day? And are we? I wish Rembrandt had painted the scene between Nicodemus and Jesus in John chapter 3. He would have had a heyday with the light and darkness in that scene! Maybe Nicodemus came to Jesus by night because he didn't want his deeds exposed to the light. Jesus as the light of the world in John's gospel reveals what a person really is and what are the real values that guide his or her life.

The news that Jesus is the light that has come into the world is good news or bad depending on what you're doing when that light shines in your corner. Alyce M. McKenzie "Edgy Exegesis,"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son

John tells us that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
No one is saved by intellectual agreement with a "belief." Salvation is all about the restoration of broken relationships. Being "saved" means being restored to the proper bond and trust of true kinship with God.

David Ewart, Holy Textures

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Who Needs a Church to Worship?

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

When Jesus arrives in town and speaks of the Temple's impending destruction, the Gospels depict him trafficking in incredibly potent ideas. He offends powerful people, whose convictions are deeply rooted in the cultural identities and religious values they affirm.

For Christians, the idea of God becoming accessible through the resurrected Jesus has a powerful (and empowering) consequence: God's presence becomes pervasive and extremely public. A hallowed temple is unnecessary, because God's presence, God's promises and our hopes for God's future aren't located in a specific site. Jesus, who now dwells among his people (and beyond), makes God accessible and extends God's presence into all aspects of our lives. Everything therefore has potential to be "sacred," meaning every dimension of daily living may become a place for encountering God.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Can we know God by the force of our Intellect?

"God in His wisdom made it impossible for men to know Him by means of their own wisdom...
For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." ( 1 Corinthinians 1:18-25)

I look forward to getting back to our Bible Study on Wednesday 3/7/12. You were missed.

The readings for tomorrow are linked as follows Third Sunday in Lent