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?


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 
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!

     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
I am leaving the rest 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.”

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?
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
  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.