Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Withered Fig Tree and Temple Cleansing...together...brought together

In the previous post i offered today,
God experienced two very human moments:

      Cursing the one thing we expect to meet our physical needs.
Here, hunger.

      Letting our emotions manifest physically.
Here, violently.


Jesus experienced a very God moment:

     Mark closes the two events
with Jesus offering a forgiveness lesson.

  Ah man...

Like in the Canaanite Woman's story, Jesus' humanity is very real.

         How do I respond to the opened and empty refrigerator?
         How often is my motivation for change brought through frustration?
         How many times have I profiled another
            because they entered the doors of a church that isn't one of mine?

     Can Mark close any of my experiences
with ME living God's forgiveness?

Peace.

The Withered Fig Tree and Temple Cleansing...together?!?

Let’s do this together, huh?  
  I recognize I am trying to lead us down a path.  
  I use italics, bold lettering, the space bar, the return key to identify 
      “How (I) read it thinking with (my) heart.”
I pray I will acknowledge and accept when you use 
Italics
Bold lettering
The space bar
The return key to identify
      “How (you) read it thinking with (your) heart.”
Hey, remember those Prayer Questions?  
“How do you read it?"
~ Luke 10: 26
"What are you thinking in your heart?"
~ Luke 5:  22
Let’s keep them close as we move forward together...
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, 
since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Cool.  Jesus is observant.  He’s making a plan…
     ...I suppose.  Am I projecting here?  Am I anticipating here?  What do you think?
    
The next day as they were leaving Bethany

he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
I love how the Gospel writer justified for us why the fig tree didn’t have any fruit right now!
     HA!  Why is that do you suppose?  Is the Gospel writer taking us somewhere or just reporting?
And he said to it in reply, 
“May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.
   Ah man…
Jesus cursed the fig tree 
   even though 
it wasn’t the fig tree’s fault ‘it was not the time for figs!’ 
      Was Jesus’ frustrations with everything he saw in the Temple getting the best of him?  I only guess Jesus was frustrated because the Fig Tree account and the Temple ‘cleansing’ account are kept together in the Church’s Scripture breakdown...
      What did Jesus see in the Temple?  What will Jesus see in MY temple?
      Or, Was Jesus reacting to hunger?
          How human is that?!?
How many times have I accessed others’ ‘temple’?
    Side note:  I refer to how I pray as my ‘temple’...
How many times do I succumb to ‘hunger…’ however that is defined...and CURSE
                                                                               whatever doesn’t meet MY needs?
                                                                               whatever interferes with how I pray?
Why did the Gospel writer deem it important to state ‘His disciples heard it’?

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
I hear the Camel through the eye of a needle lesson all over again...
I hear Jesus saying to me, 
   “Don’t bring an agenda to prayer!  Leave the baggage outside...even HUNGER!
JUST TALK
JUST LISTEN
JUST BE WITH ME
LET ME JUST BE WITH YOU

     If You cure me, God, I will then…
     If You make me successful, God, I will then…
     If You make another love me, God, I will then...      
Then he taught them saying, 
“Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
Back to the Fig Tree!  The Temple Cleansing is sandwiched between the Fig Tree...

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, 
“Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, 
“Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, 
whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, 
all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone 
against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you 
your transgressions.”
Mark 11:  11-26
Whew…
I am leaving the rest alone...it is the Bold lettered Words that bring it home for me…
How do you pray with this Mark account…
When do you use Italics
             Bold lettering
                            The space bar
                            The return key to identify
           “How (you) read it thinking with (your) heart.”
Peace.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Teach me to pray ~ "Jesus appears before God on our behalf" Hebrews 9: 24

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary 
made by hands,
a copy of the true one, 
but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God
on our behalf.
Hebrews 9:  24
Oh wow...Praise God, huh?
‘made by hands’
Our hands?
‘a copy of the true one’
How do I view ‘the true one’?
How do I hope ‘the true one’ is...might be...should be?
How do I work my hands to build a copy of God’s ‘true one’?
Why do I work to build a copy of God’s ‘true one’?
‘on our behalf’
THAT’S it!
‘on   our   behalf’
Oh wow...Praise God, huh?
‘on
our
behalf’
Read that again.
Please pray with me.
I raise Prayer Questions.
I find it is very easy 
  for these Prayer Questions 
                 to enter my mind
                 to enter my heart:
You really didn’t see me until now, God?
You really were not with me until now, God?
You really didn’t hear me until now, God?
You really didn’t understand me until now, God?
I anticipate Prayer Questions God raises:
You really didn’t see Me until now, My child?
You really were not with Me until now, My child?
You really didn’t hear Me until now, My child?
You really didn’t understand Me until now, My child?
Ah man…
I’m going somewhere some may challenge…
   That’s alright.
I’ve been challenged by others before.
   I hope I challenge my own thoughts and feelings 
   with as much vigor…
or simplicity…
   as another challenges me.
With that said…
Pray with me.
What is it like to interact with another in unconditional love?
Is unconditional love forgiveness?
My prayer explores these questions.  
I am kinda lost here.  
        Do I quote myself here or invite you to read earlier posts?
Garden of Eden
Triumph of the Cross
Transfiguration
  Canaanite Woman
Curing the Bethsaida Man

See, I feel with my whole being that God 'learned' as much about us while Emmanuel...
See, I hope with my whole being that I learned with my whole being about God while Emmanuel...
I think I’ll leave this here.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Peace.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Word Incarnate ~ Teach me to follow you

Something different today...
I promised myself I will only share my scripture views.
Whoa...
today, is different

See, I adopted a puppy six weeks ago from a rescue group.  
Naturally, I believe he adopted me. 

The story is common....
...as every other rescued pet owner will undoubted share!
hehehe


Two days ago he had knee surgery....
his second in his 4month old life.  
Bless his heart...

We are on strict orders,

 "KEEP HIM STILL IN HIS KENNEL FOR TWO WEEKS."

This is proving to be harder on me than on him...

His full leg will be in a cast for 6 weeks, 
a bandage for an additional 6 weeks.  
We will have 6 weeks of physical therapy.  

He eats bees he catches in the backyard despite several stings.  Kills me!  I can't figure out why he doesn't learn to leave 'em alone...I cannot tell you how many times he comes in the house with swollen lips.  I am so grateful he's not allergic to them.  What's become cute, though, is I feel he believes he is a bee.  He loves flowers.  He buries his face in them and licks...licks...licks.  Especially cactus flowers.  go figure...


Alright...what does this have to do with scripture?  What does any of this have to do with the title of this post, "Word Incarnate ~ Teach me to follow you"? I will tell you I relate differently with God because of my relationship with my dog...

I think about how hard God tries to communicate with me.  Like my dog does with me.

I think about how I try so hard to dump human attributes on God.  Like I do with my dog.

I wonder why it is so easy to accept others' belief that God can ever be jealous, angry, vengeful...

I wonder why it is so hard to allow the Word Incarnate to experience loneliness, sadness, confusion...

I wonder why it is so hard to allow Emmanuel the human struggle...the reality of seeking affirmation, the actuality that, "Wow, I am different."

Sometimes, I love praying while feeling God became Flesh...
God as Word Incarnate...
Emmanuel...
so God will know first hand what I pray about...
how I pray...
what it is like to be human...
why it is so hard to simply love...
to grasp why we hold that God could ever be jealous, angry, vengeful.

Pray with me...pray for me...

Let's expand on this together later .

Peace

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miracles ~ teach me to pray: Matthew 14 talks about Jesus Walking on the Water

Ah Man! I’m gonna make this short…
uh…
y e a h.
Again…
How many times did Jesus confront individuals and crowds of people because they
...we...
need signs and miracles to trust his Word?  
I don’t have that answer simply because the answer requires too much work.  

For Jesus to say it ONCE is enough for me to ask the Prayer Question, 
“Do I need a sign or miracle to hear God’s Word...
to trust the Word Incarnate...
to live with the desire to love God...
to believe Jesus is God?”
That ONCE is Mark 8: 11 & 12.  
I break everytime I hear, 
“(Jesus) sighed from the depth of his spirit.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote a bible.  He deleted all signs and miracles from his text so he would concentrate only on Jesus’ message.  Find a copy.  What do you think?  What do you feel about Jefferson’s efforts?
Yet, I love the miracles!
If it IS NOT about the miracle…
Find, read and pray with Matthew 14: 22-27.
Immediately
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat 
and go on ahead of him to the other side,
 while he dismissed the crowd. 
After he had dismissed them, 
he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. 
When evening came, 
he was there alone
but the boat was already 
a considerable distance from land, 
buffeted by the waves 
because the wind was against it.
 During the fourth watch of the night
 Jesus went out to them, 
walking on the lake
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, 
they were terrified. 
"It's a ghost," they said, 
and cried out in fear.
 But Jesus immediately said to them:

 "Take courage! 
It is I. 
Don't be afraid."
Matthew 14: 22-27

Jesus was alone.
Jesus missed his friends.  
Jesus wanted to be with his friends.
I can see Jesus seeing his friends 
in the boat so far away 
buffeted by waves.
I can see Jesus wanting to be with them so badly he just starts running toward them  
I believe Jesus didn’t even notice he was walking on the water until his friends told him.  

Jesus wanted to be with them...
    with me...
    with you...
    with us...
so badly nothing got in the way; not even the shoreline!  

No obstacles to being with them...
    with me...
    with you...
    with us!

Emmanuel!

Pray with me...

Miracles ~ teach me to pray: Mark 8 talks about The Man in Bethsaida

How many times did Jesus confront individuals and crowds of people because they...we...need signs and miracle to trust his Word?  I don’t have that answer simply because the answer requires too much work.  For Jesus to say it ONCE is enough for me to ask the Prayer Question, “Do I need a sign or miracle to hear God’s Word...to trust the Word Incarnate...to live with the desire to love God...to believe Jesus is God?”
That ONCE is Mark 8: 11 & 12.  I break everytime I hear, “(Jesus) sighed from the depth of his spirit.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote a bible.  He deleted all signs and miracles from his text so he would concentrate only on Jesus’ message.  Find a copy.  What do you think?  What do you feel about Jefferson’s efforts?
Yet, I love the miracles!

If it IS NOT about the miracle...
Find, read and pray with Mark 8: 22 -26
When they arrived at Bethsaida, 
they brought to him a blind man 
and begged him to touch him.  
He took the blind man 
by the hand and led him 
outside the village. 
Putting spittle on his eyes 
he laid his hands on him 
and asked, 
"Do you see anything?"
Looking up he replied, 
"I see people looking like trees and walking."
Then he laid hands on his eyes 
a second time 
and he saw clearly; 
his sight was restored 
and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home 
and said, 
"Do not even go into the village."
Where are you in your heart reading this again?  
How high does the 
    ‘infant in (my) womb leap for joy upon hearing (this)?’
                                                                Luke 1: 39.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. 

Wow!  Jesus calls me to spend time with him...
just the two of us...
away from everyone, 
“This is between you and me.”
Putting spittle on his eyes 
he laid his hands on him 
I use this line so many times when praying about Trinitarian Apologetics.
Jeremiah 18
Lamentations 4
Isaiah 64
Romans 9
What?  God is the potter and I am the clay…
A potter repairs a crack, if you will, in the vessel 
with spittle...
with mud (John’s Gospel, Luke’s Gospel)...
with slip.  
Jesus is God for me here!
"Do you see anything?"
I cry.  What a beautiful Prayer Question!  Even healing me, God makes no assumptions...God asks me how things are working out...God wants me to be involved.
Looking up he replied, 
"I see people looking like trees and walking."
This cracks me up!  “well, it’s not exactly what I was expecting.”
I hear I can tell God what its really like for me…
Talk about freedom, huh?
Jesus didn’t walk away.  Jesus didn’t blame, “Well, your faith isn’t strong enough.”
God doesn’t walk away.  God doesn’t blame.
Then he laid hands on his eyes 
a second time 
I cry.  I can see Jesus scrambling.
I cry.  I can hear Jesus saying, “Wait!  Let me try something else!”
I cry.  I can feel Jesus’ exasperation.

Pray with me, huh?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Road to Emmaus ~ Teach me to pray

Christ is risen!  Emmanuel...

Again, what is the Good News through

"(all) of the things that have taken place (in Jerusalem) in these days?”
Luke 24: 18

Jesus asks us, 

“What sort of things?”
Luke 24: 19 

Remember what Jesus asked
 the scripture scholar in 
Luke 10?
Bring that Prayer Question 
to our hearts 
while responding to 
Jesus' question 
"What sort of things?".  


Remember what Jesus asked
the scribes and pharisees in
Luke 5?
Bring that Prayer Question
to our hearts
while responding to
Jesus' question
"What sort of things?.

It is interesting to me
how quickly I tend to respond
with the timeline in those
     "sort of things."


Jesus ate dinner with his friends.

Jesus talked to Judas
about what Judas was about to do.

Jesus talked to Peter
about what Peter was about to do.

Jesus prayed in the Garden
while his friends slept
despite
asking them to stay with him.

whoa...there's a prayer question for ya!
"Will no one stay awake with me?"

Jesus before Pilate.

Jesus before Herod.

Jesus before Pilate, again.

Jesus is scourged.

Crowned.

wow...how readily i can type this outline!

What happens, then,
when I bring the "sort of things" home...
to my heart 
with the Prayer Questions in Luke 10 and 5?
  
What does that outline look like?  How does that feel...
How readily can I type that outline?  How does that feel...

Praise God and Amen...

Emmanuel...despite everything we do to God...

Praise God and Amen!


Peace