Monday, July 20, 2015

Abundanza


After all the rain we have had this summer, the water today was flowing over the falls in abundance.
One evening we were having pizza at Brenda's restaurant when four college age men were seated at the table next to us.  They ordered "Abundanza."  It's a 24 inch square pizza.  I had seen pictures of it, but never sat next to one.  When the waitress sat it on the table the guys bust out laughing and so did the all of us sitting around them.  It covered the entire table.  Needless to say the four guys finished it. 
Jesus cooks like an Italian!  He feeds 5,000 and has 12 basketsful of leftovers.  Whatever Jesus gives us, he gives in abundance.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One New Humanity


As a Jewish follower of Jesus, Paul is eager to assure us Gentiles (non-Jews) that we are not left out, even though we were once far away, compared to Jews.  "In his flesh Christ has made both groups one (Ephesians 2:11-22.)  The passage seems strange to us, since we are used to thinking of ourselves, not the Jews, as the insiders. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Solitude and Rest


The view from Delphi in Greece down toward the Gulf of Corinth.
"Come away all by yourselves to a solitary place and rest a while," Jesus says to the apostles when they return from the work he has sent them to do (Mark 6:31.)  Solitude and rest are necessary for growth in our relationship with God.  For some of us it may be our porch; for others it may be a mountaintop.  God is always with us, but resting in solitude gives God a better chance to get at us.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Praying


This year I made any "weed" welcome behind my house.
Mary Oliver's poetry has become a favorite of mine. 
In a poem she calls simply "Praying," she writes,

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
                                 (Thirst, p.37)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Extravagant Love


The Letter to the Ephesians is a good summary of St. Paul's teaching, probably written by a disciple of Paul.   The author's main theme is the unity that Christ has established between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews.)  In the first chapter he says "By Christ's blood we were redeemed, our sins forgiven through extravagant love."  Christ's sacrifice is also establishing unity in all creation.  God's plan, he says, is "to unite the entire universe through Christ."  Everything and everyone is connected in the risen body of  Jesus, a Jew.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Continuing the Work of Jesus


Jesus wants his work to continue so he calls and sends the Church.  To continue his work Jesus shares with us his own word and power.  "The Church is to go trusting this to be true, never contradicting that trust with the excess baggage of security and wealth that offer the world the image of unbelief."
(Fred Criddock, quoted in Imaging the Word, Vol. 3, p.250)

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Community Sent


The passage in Mark (6:6-13) where Jesus sends the Twelve on mission most likely also reflects the practice in Mark's community in the late first century and is a model for our 21st century Church.  Travel light as Light, free and fearless, facing down evil, agent of God's healing power, preaching God's Word of Love.