Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mark 10: 35-38 presents the Sons of Zebedee ~ in my heart, "Can I sit at your right hand?"

I ask myself the same question Jesus asked the law Scholar, "How do you read it?"  We prayed with that earlier ~ Teach me to pray ~ Encouragement before we share Exodus and the Canaanite Woman.  Remember that earlier post?

Scripture is read to me everyday.  I read Scripture everyday.  

I hear Scripture differently everyday because I am a different person everyday.

       Somedays I feel inexplicably happy.
       Somedays I feel melancholy.
       Somedays i feel boisterous.
       Somedays I feel quiet.
       Somedays I feel content.
       Somedays I feel mad as hell.
       Somedays I feel hurt.
       Somedays I feel I've hurt another.

I must remember Scripture was written in a different time.
I must remember those hearing Scripture in those different times had a very different world view:

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, 
"Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."

He replied, 
"What do you wish (me) to do for you?"

They answered him,
 "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."

Jesus said to them, 
"You do not know what you are asking.
~ Mark 10: 35-38

We must remember the folks around God while The Word Was Made Flesh did not have an appreciation...an understanding...a concept... for being in Heaven.  It was not part of their tradition.  "In your glory" RIGHT NOW...IN THIS TIME...WHILE YOU ARE FLESH...very likely means when you're sitting on the throne of our nation as king.

Today, I do have an appreciation for being in Heaven.  It is part of my tradition.  Since I get it, if you will, I casually read Mark as "In your glory in Pure Love in Heaven with God and all the saints."  I can easily chuckle at James' and John's naivete,  "You silly boys..."  and leave the Scripture alone.

BUT, to bring it home...to make it relevant to me NOW...to hear a pertinent lesson...

What are James and John actually asking?  How ‘bout…

“Jesus, when you become King...when you drive out the Romans with the armies you raise and train...Can I be, say...you’re Secretary of State or your Prime Minister.”

"Jesus, when you become supreme priest...when you really put the Sanhedrin and it's Scribes...the Pharisees and the Sadducees in their place...Can I be, say...on the Supreme Court?"

Concrete   measurable   places   of   honor.

Everyone   will  know   I   am   important.

Ah man.  Now this Scriptural Passage presents a lesson to me today.  Because I do this today.  I bring an agenda to the table when I am with someone.  It is human nature.  It is exercising Free Will.  It is extremely human.  I don’t believe we can help it;  BUT, we can be aware of it. But, we can make an adjustment to our attitude.  Like Jesus did with the Canaanite Woman.

Jesus challenges us to be aware of it, “You don’t know what you’re asking.”

Here’s a parable:

I plan to join the new organization at my church called, THE BEST SERVICE and SOCIAL ORGANIZATION EVER ~ BSSOE.  EVERYONE who is ANYONE at my church is is signing up with BSSOE.  I can make a ton of contacts for work.  And, I will be invited to the best parties.  And, I will be well on my way to being elected to the Church Council.

However, I missed the whole meaning of the word "SERVICE" in the title.  It means volunteering a lot of time serving at a soup kitchen.  It means volunteering a lot of time stuffing envelops.  It means going to a lot of meetings.  It means answering a call to drive another member to a doctor’s appointment.  It means…

Pray with me.

What do you think?  What is your take?  How do you apply this Scripture Passage to your life?  

Jesus tells the  Zebedee boys   like   it   is:

“Can you drink the cup that I drink or 
be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"

Jesus tells me   like   it   is:

NOT ONE MEMBER became my client.
I went to two parties:  one played music i didn't like all night and 
the other served food I didn't like.
I did not get elected to the Church Council.

I get called every month to serve at the soup kitchen.  UGH...every month!
I had to bring that guy to his doctor's appointment.  I hope I don't catch what he's got.
That paper cut still hasn't healed.
Those meetings are scheduled during CSI: Miami.  I haven't seen one episode in months.

Here's a question: Is there an advantage, then, knowing we have the reality of Heaven?

Heaven is a given, for me.  Remember our earlier prayer in The Garden?  
God comes to us asking, "Where are you?" Even knowing what we did.  

Jesus waits for us at the tomb asking us by name, 
"Mary, who are you looking for?"  
Even after we humiliated him, denied knowing him, scourged him, nailed him to a tree.

My challenge to knowing the reality of Heaven is I can chuckle at others naive interactions to Jesus and leave it at that.  I can sail through Scripture without listening to my heart...without reading Scripture with God is Love...without listening to Scripture with Emmanuel.

So, I believe another attitude affecting how I read...listen...to Scripture is in the questions, "Do I live to get into Heaven?", and, "Am I accepting Jesus' challenge, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand...within you...right now? in other words, "Do I live to bring Heaven at hand...within me and you...right now?", "Am I living Emmanuel ~ God Is With Us, or I will be with God after I am dead?".

As I shared in an earlier post, I wear an I Minus knotted and tied around my left wrist.  One of those knots symbolizes Chastity, if you will:  I pray I will greet another agenda free.  Does that vow work for me?  Ah man...

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