“[W]hy did Jesus take this boat trip? He seems to have come for this one man, naked, violent, abandoning normal life to live in the caves of the dead.”
“We forget to watch Peter. How many times have we preached, written, taught, and heard about bumbling Peter? But Peter is Everyman. He is us. Every foible, every blind spot, every dumb question. He is us. Perhaps the greatest miracle is that the four Gospels (plus Luke, Volume II, aka Acts) lay out lesson after lesson about Peter. We are given the guidebook to discernment, growth, sin, repentance, and forgiveness, all bound up in Peter. Bumbling, stupid Peter. “Feed my sheep.” Of course, we look to Jesus, our Saviour, the one whom we work so hard to pattern our lives on, and so we miss Peter.”
“He was a faithful Jew, as was Jesus. He knew the Law and the Prophets. He used that knowledge to argue for the truth of Jesus as Messiah. He lifted up Jewish social ethics, long embodied in the Law and extolled by the Prophets. Feeding and clothing the poor, widows, orphans wasn’t new but commanded, at least for the people of God. But his greater goal was to overarch the social doctrine in favor of the higher one, the one pointing to the Holy One of Israel.”
“We pick up our cross each time, and become the sons and daughters of our Abba, and one with Christ Jesus. The Holy Cross is within us. And so we venerate the Cross, as each act of adoration and service in Jesus’ name is our unification with Jesus’ death. And his Resurrection. And ours.”
“Do we not now live out Job’s life? The national situation is horrendous. What started out as a cry for the end to systemic racism is rapidly turning into a race war, and dozens of identity wars. We need to pray that our mouths be filled with the Spirit so that we can proclaim, not in arrogance, but with authority, God’s Truth. But right now we feel like Job. But we are also Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, insisting on our own wisdom in our ignorance, and, in doing so, distracting from the only true Wisdom, that of God. We need to make our confession, but not a breast-beating act of showmanship, but humble in the wonder and grace of God. As did Job.”
“Job’s relationship with God is never personal, although he pleads passionately with God to release him, even kill him. Unlike David, or Jacob, who argued, pleaded, wrestled with God, but a God who cared for them, Job does not hear the voice God, or the Spirit, or see Jacob’s escalators of Angels, riding up and down, showing that the way to heaven is open.”
“Not only does Isaiah celebrate a foreign mission to spread the Word and gather all to God, but it suggests a way to maintain the liturgies and ceremonies of the people. In the case of Bartholomew, a way that he could go to India and establish a church, much as St. Paul did, by raising elders to bless and break the bread.”
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