Thursday, April 17, 2014

ReBlog: Maundy Thursday Memo from Simon Peter

Reblogged from Brian Mclaren

Maundy Thursday: Memo from Simon Peter

You shall not wash my feet, I said.
My reaction was visceral, reflexive, furious.
I couldn't then say why I was so offended
By his self-humiliation.
But now I see.
If he, Rabbi and Leader, would abandon
All protocols of propriety,
What would it mean for us, for me?
I had my heart set upon a throne,
Right next to his,
Preferably to his right,
With Zebedee's sons, my rivals,
Put in their places on his left.
I was ambitious. I am even now.
What does it do to my ambition
To make the top the bottom,
The leader the servant,
And the last the first?
Where could this lead?
Will women dare to aspire
To be seen as our equals?
Will the outsiders stand on level ground
With the pure, the righteous, the orthodox?
Will circumcision, sacrifice, priesthood, temple
Count for nothing?
Doesn't he know?
The cosmos is hierarchical.
There are kings at the top and slaves at the bottom,
Fathers and sons, men and women, teachers and students,
Older and younger ...
No sane man would unsettle that order.
It is divinely ordained.
So, yes, I was offended.
When he pressed me,
Said my feet must be washed
Or I had no part with him. So
I wrestled again to be first,
Seizing on this:
I will be first in being served!
And so I demanded to be washed
More than the others, head to toe.
But no. He saw through my game, and
Would not comply.
As he washed my feet and allowed me no special place,
I burned within.
Later, the burning flared: I will never abandon you! I said.
All the others might falter, but not I!
He told me the cock would mock my boast.
I hated him. I resented him. I thought he hated me.
Yet I loved him.
Serve one another as I have served you, he said.
Love one another as I have loved you, he said.
If his wild ways succeed,
All this world's order will be undone
And some new order will come.
I see why Judas has been so concerned.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clergy Corner: God's Not Dead

There are a number of religious based movies coming out this Lenten season: Son of God, God’s Not Dead, Noah, and Heaven is For Real. I say they are based movies because if you go to these movies expecting to see word for word scripture without a Hollywood spin, you will be sorely disappointed. The world has some influence over each of the movies that I have seen. I encourage you, IF you are going to see the movies, go with an openness to meet with God. Go with a mind searching for what God is saying to you and meeting with you. 

Last week, I went to the movie “God’s Not Dead.” It is a movie mostly focused on the relationship between a professor and student. On the first day of class, the professor had the students write down three words on a piece of paper “God Is Dead” and then sign the paper. One student stated that he could not do this. Because of this, he is forced to “refute the antithesis” during three class times. 

On the side of this story, there are several other stories happening with relation to this professor and student. One of the side stories is about siblings and their mother suffering from Alzheimer’s. Mom is in the last stages of the disease, and the son has not visited recently. As he sits with his mother, he asks her questions about God. He asks why “her God” would give her this terrible disease when she is such a wonderful person while he is a terrible person, yet he has everything he wants in the world.  In a moment of brief clarity, his mom states that when we don’t have any needs, we won’t have any need for the creator. Satan sometimes creates a simple life so that we simply do not seek God. 

This stuck with me. 

Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:13-17 gives us instruction for dealing with evil. God has armored us with truth, righteousness; readiness from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Holy Spirit with is the word of God.  May you stand firm and boldly seek the face of God.