Sunday, April 27, 2008

kick it to the curb

then jesus went around teaching from village to village.
calling the twelve to him, he sent them out two
by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.
these were his instructions: “take nothing for the
journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in
your belts. wear sandals but not an extra tunic.
whenever you enter a house, stay there until you
leave that town. and if any place will not welcome you
or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you
leave, as a testimony against them.”
they went out and preached that people should
repent. they drove out many demons and anointed
many sick people with oil and healed them. mark 6:6-13

odd instructions that jesus gave. take nothing. no food, no money, no extra jacket.
don't bounce around from house to house.
and if people do not listen or welcome you, then shake the dust off your feet.

dust on your feet? kick it to the curb on your way out of town.

but why? and why two by two? why bring a staff? why not moving around?

think about it...and bring your thoughts sunday night...

peace to you,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

in my hometown

i was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
i’d sit on his lap in that big old buick and steer as we drove through town
he’d tousle my hair and say son take a good look around
this is your hometown, this is your hometown

bruce springsteen

yesterday i was back in my hometown.
i was looking forward to seeing familiar faces and catching up with old friends.
and yet i was not looking forward to going back to my hometown.
we were back for a funeral of a dear friend.
it was one of the saddest and most inspirational funerals i have ever been to.
as we listened to the family share, we were reminded of what a special women she was.
it is easy to forget. it is easy to overlook the little things they do to make you great.

sometimes when familiarity should breed a growing respect it breeds an increasing and easy-going familiarity. sometimes we are too near to people to see their greatness.

that is so true of our friend irene.

these words were spoken about jesus when he was back in his hometown. the place where he was misunderstood. the place where people refused to see him for who he was. they were too near to him to recognize his greatness.

i often wonder how people will remember me when i am gone. will i be thought of as the quiet kid in elementary school? will i be remembered for the way i acted as a teenager? (these are the things that they held against jesus when he came into their synagogues and taught with wisdom and authority.) what about the people around me right now? how will they remember me? what impact am i leaving in their lives? what fingerprints have they left on my heart?

what would they say about me in my hometown?

peace to you,


Thursday, April 10, 2008

this little piggie

in the first few lines of mark 5 we find ourselves in one of the more puzzling stories in the life of jesus.
demons causing a man to cut himself with stones as he lived in a cemetary.
jesus confronts the demons and "gives them permission" to enter a herd of pigs.
life and beauty confronts chaos and cruelty.
pigs are destroyed and people are enraged. they beg him to leave. misunderstood miracle.
i have seen this story played out in our day...maybe not with pigs..but...
well, we will talk about that more on sunday night.
peace to you,