:Reflection on the Lectio –

The following Bible verses will be read by Christians around the world next Sunday who follow the ecumenical lectionary agenda:

Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12)
Roman Catholic reading: Isaiah 58:7-10

Psalm 112:1-9, (10)
Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16)
Roman Catholic reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Matthew 5:13-20
Roman Cathylolic reading: Matthew 5:13-16

I want to comment here on the Old Testament Reading and the New Testament Reading:

Isaiah gives a shout out to his people.  His focus is on the worship practices of the Hebrew people.  Consider that he is pointing out that the system to which his people have committed their lives needs to be reformed. They have committed their lives to unreflective ritual, not realizing what they are doing.  They are fasting regularly without their hearts being into it. And they have completely forgotten the source of their worship, a divine power whose primary bent is toward the helpless, homeless, poor, and outcast.

Will this happen this Sunday, again, in our Christian Churches?  Will we worship without reflection, only following the ritual?  Will our minds remember the homeless, and  helpless?  Will we pray for the Syrian refugees?  Will our offerings include something for those our nation has branded as outcasts?   And when we go home from church, what will we do?  Call a congressperson asking them to resist the system?  Volunteer time at a Homeless shelter?  Donate food to the Food Closet? Make a contribution yo the International Rescue Committee or ACLU?  Let it be so.

Matthew uses the metaphor of salt in a fascinating way.  Salt was used in new testament times as a catalytic agent to burn dung for cooking fires in their homes.  The salt caused something to burn. He was inciting his young, new Christians to to start a fire, to set things a-burning.

Those of us who dare call ourselves Christians, are we thinking of ourselves as fire setters? Are we committed to to the cause begun by Jesus with a burning passion?  Or have we lost that catalytic agency?  Perhaps we can’t even burn the dung.  Who will throw us out to be trampled in the muddy road?

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BIBLE STUDY WITHOUT THE BIBLE

Had a unique experience on Wednesday.

The church calendar said Bible Study – Wednesday, 10:30 AM

That was the only direction, although I had heard that the group was focusing on the Gospel of John.

When I arrived I noticed that there were no Bibles on the table, just books, one book at each early comer’s place, THE THEOLOGY OF JOHN’S GOSPEL.

I didn’t have a copy of the book, so I shuffled over to the bookcase and took down a copy of the Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. I put it at my place at the table, thinking that surely it would come in handy as a guide and reference.

The meeting began with prayer and then the leader asked everyone to turn to page 44 in THE THEOLOGY OF JOHN’S GOSPEL.  Participants were asked to respond to some words written there. And some did.

And so it went.  Passages of THE THEOLOGY were read aloud, participants taking turns reading.  In between readings there was sometimes discussion. The focus of the discussion was Jesus on the Cross. What did that mean? Opinions were expressed.

Things got a little more interesting when a question was raised about infant vs. believer baptism..The participants expressed interest in this because some had grown up as Baptists.

Then back to THE THEOLOGY. More opinions. Even some scripture quoting. But it was quotes from Paul’s writing, not John’s Gospel.

And then it was time for someone to close with prayer. I sat there in Bible study for one whole hour and no one, myself included, opened a Bible. No one read from the Gospel of John to prove or disprove what the author of THE THEOLOGY was talking about. The scriptures were not read. They were barely even talked about.

This reminded me all too well of seminary. There one only scored points if you read the scholars who told you their opinions and research about the text.  We weren’t encouraged just to read the scripture.

Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed learning about historical criticism and that learning has helped me develop an informed opinion about the scriptures. BUT, in my forming faith experience, I have come to the conclusion that if we are to truly understand the scriptures we must first read the words on the printed page. We need to say them outloud to each other. When we have the time  we will need to engage in lectio divina together. Then, perhaps, we are ready to begin our study and will be ready to distinguish between  Original Blessing and Original Sin as it confronts us through the pen of John.

And there you have it. An hour of bible study without the Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

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So what can we do?

He is not yet in office, but. . . . .

Here is what I am doing and thinking about –

I contributed to the ACLU.

I am supporting friends on FACEBOOK with whom I agree. We need the support of like minds wherever we live.

I am, and not liking it, trying to determine who is friend or. . . My faith says we should have no enemies and if we do should pray for them.  I think that evil can raise its ugly head in many forms.  We must be careful about praying for evil to win.

I am looking for leaders.  I am watching our current President.  I can’t imagine what he is going through.  I am praying for him .  Watching Bernie, Elizabeth, . . .Whom can I trust?

Watching the media – what is the slant?  What is propaganda?

Staying involved in some local issues – poverty, homelessness,  making more contributions locally.

Staying connected to local friends expressing ideas and values similar to mine.

Having not the foggiest notion how to bridge the chasm of relationship with those who did not vote as I did.  Looking for ways. . .

Trying to figure out what RESISTANCE TO EMPIRE is all about. Believing that this was a primary teaching of Jesus.

Feeling very sad that I am leaving this national catastrophe as legacy for my children and grandchildren to resolve.

Attempting to develop my practice of meditation. It is in that space, between heaven and earth, spirit and matter that Hope is born.

And, slowing down, just a bit to see awe, joy, wonder around me in people, animals, flowers, and things.   So be it for now.

 

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Post Debate 

Okay, the big debate is over. Except that the debate wasn’t really a debate. Nothing at all like the debates I participated in during college.

We lost points for talking over people. We were not allowed to speak while the opponents were talking.

So, if not a debate what was it?

It was a proliferation of words. Some delivered with thought. Others just babble. 

Secretary Clinton was prepared and spoke thoughtfully. She obviously used the linguists of politician, diplomat, teacher, and mother. Her words had logic, her sentences were constructed with subject and verb. She knew what she was talking about.

Do we really have millions of  people in America who prefer a demagogue?  A person who cannot construct a paragraph if words? Who changes the subject when asked a direct question? Who obfuscates the truth? Who openly and blatantly lies?  Who thinks he’s smart because he conives with skilled lawyers to avoid paying taxes? Who thinks the USA is a third world country?

This was not a debate. It was the public revelation of character. We were shown clearly what we could get as our next president. 

No one can explain how this one of no character appears before us.He never should have made it this far. BUT he took advantage of an ugly vacuum. 

Remember that story about the king who wore no clothes?  We have a candidate for the presidency who reveals himself, if only we would see, a demagogue, opportunist, liar, conniver, cheater. He moves through life bullying people. 

That’s not the man who should ever be President of the United States. 

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On the Blog Again

[t has been three years since I blogged from my Blog.  Back in the day it was a diary of books read, movies seen and theater attended. Now that I have recovered it, I want to experiment with it.

Who knows what you will receive?  Thoughts, musings, rants?

Now I am into Meditation @ 4 on Wednesdays, Cape May Community Food Closet, managing Firstpresby FB page, lectionarty readings, CM County Homelessness Trust Fund, and People of the WAY Cape May.

Maybe this will support the above. Maybe it will be something entirely new.  Cheer me on.Without readers I am nothing.

But with them, I know, it is all up to me.

 

 

 

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May 1, 2013

Has been over a year since I posted here.  Thinking about starting up again, but want to do more than keep record of movies and books read.  Thinking about focusing on biblical and theological issues.  Would like to begin a weekly discipline of writing.  Putting this in print will help.

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LADY CHATTERLY

We watched a download from Netflix.  A BBC 1993 production.

Here is information about it.  Click here.

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