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Showing posts from March, 2010

Reflection: 03-10

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Since my latest purchase has yet to arrive, I had to decide on a book for this month’s reflection. I didn’t really know what to do. There wouldn’t be any time to order another and have it show up in time. It was about this time that Carl McColman posted a review of Brian McLaren’s latest book, A New Kind of Christianity. I have read some of McLaren’s stuff before and had already determined that I might purchase this book and just read it for my own enjoyment. I was still up in the air about it – until Carl’s review. And, I had a coupon for 30% off at Border’s! So, it was an easy sell.

Well, I’m so glad I purchased this book! Once more, McLaren puts voice to my inner struggles. A few years ago, I was going through a dark place in my walk. I wrote about this in a story in my first few reflections. It was dark and I knew that there was something missing. Something real. And that’s how McLaren starts his book, too - ‘Between Something Real and Something Wrong’. I knew, like McLaren, that …

Collect for Palm Sunday

All loving and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Child our Savior Jesus Christ to take our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us th example of that great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of Christ's suffering, and also share in the resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect for the Last Sunday in Lent

Loving God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinner: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

Really?

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My darling wife and I were at Border's this evening.  As usual, I perused the 'Religion' section.  I'm always looking for some new book by Bishop Tom or Thomas Merton or some Orthodox books.  Tonight, while I was reading New Seeds of Contemplation by Merton when I glanced up.  There, amidst the Bibles was a new study Bible - The Case for Christ Study Bible.  Really?  First of all, do we really need a new study Bible?  I mean, dang!  We have, like, a gizzillion Bibles!  Second, isn't the idea of the New Testament to begin with a 'case for Christ'?  This, to me, stunk of greed.  And then I looked at the whole section and became nauseated.  What are we doing, family?  I can understand different translations (albeit, those, too, are becoming a bit much).  But a 'study' Bible for every new thing under the sun?  And the idea of a 'case for Christ' study Bible is just plain silly.  There is absolutely no reason for it.  No reason other than to feed…

Have we committed idolatry?

Have we committed idolatry?

That is, Jesus never intended on starting a new religion.  He came to inagurate the highly anticipated 'Reign (or Kingdom) of God'.  He came to show us a Way of living that could be incorporated into all religious traditions or non-religious ones.

Look at this passage from the Gospel of John 4:

“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet.  So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”

Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.  But the time is coming — indeed it’s here now — when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  The Father is looking for those who wil…

Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father-Mother, whose blessed Child Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that Christ may live in us, and we in Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Antisemitism and the New Testament

I had a conversation a fellow bus friend yesterday.  During our conversation, he asked about the New Testament's antisemitism.  My first response was that it could be conceived as a response to the Jewish persecution of the infant church.  That is, the first followers of Jesus were persecuted by the Jews.  The Acts of the Apostles tells us that Saul (whom later becomes Paul) had letters from the Jewish authorities to go and find people of 'The Way' and bring them back for trial.

Upon reflection this morning, however, I pose a question: Can someone be labeled 'antisemitic' if they are Jewish?  That is, the writers of the New Testament make it clear that the first converts to 'The Way' were Jewish people.  Jesus, himself, was a Jew.  His execution was not at the instigation of the Romans but his fellow Jews.  The imprisonment, torture, and execution of those first followers of Jesus was brought about by Jewish people.  Granted, those things were carried out …

Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent

Loving God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Didache - Chapter 2

2 The Second Commandment
2:1 The second commandment of the teaching is this:
2:2 Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor.
2:3 Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges.
2:4 You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare.
2:5 Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action.
2:6 Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor.
2:7 Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.