Archive for June 2011

You Don’t Want to Go There

June 25, 2011

I feel like I had a revelation this morning. See if this resonates with you.

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus says to his disciples, “Pray that you won’t fall into temptation.” He’s just told them to sell their cloaks for swords (see yesterday’s post), signaling that something is about to come down. But instead of telling them to pray that they won’t be harmed, he tells them to pray that they won’t fall into temptation. Apparently there is harm that is greater than physical harm to our bodies — harm to our souls, harm to our relationships, harm to our relationship with God. It’s the harm that sin accomplishes.

That’s important to remember, but it’s not the revelation I was talking about.

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Discipleship 401

June 24, 2011

Let’s face it. Jesus was often nothing short of confusing. Today’s gospel reading is an excellent case in point. Just hours before Jesus was arrested he said to his followers, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” ‘Not a thing,’ they answered. “From now on if you have a backpack, take it, and also a duffel bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'” But then when the disciples answer, “See, Lord, here are two swords!” Jesus curiously says, “That’s enough.”

Later, while Jesus was being arrested, the disciples cry out, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” One of them doesn’t wait for a response but slices off the high priest’s servant’s ear before Jesus answers, “No more of this! Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” (This last sentence comes from another gospel’s account of this same story.) (more…)

Remembering to Forget

June 23, 2011

Earlier this week I came across this quote by Paul Minear: “The present disclosure of divine will demands the forgetting of what should be forgotten and the remembering of what should be remembered.”

If you’re like me, I often forget the things I want to remember, and remember events I wish I could forget. Some memories can be “sticky.” Memories can not only distract but incapacitate us, leaving us to wallow in the mire of shame, regret or anger. They can keep us from seeing the new thing God is doing in front our eyes right now: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19). (more…)