Discover More Jan. 14, 2018

rencontre sur aire de repos a1 Psalm 139

browse around these guys John 1:43-51

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see this website “’In the beginning was… well, what? A clap of the divine hands and a poetic shock wave?  Or, an itchy node of nothingness inconceivably scratching itself into somethingess?  In the beginning was the ‘Word,’ says the Gospel according to John – a lovely statement of the case, as it’s always seemed to me.  A pre-temporal syllable swelling to utterance in the mouth of the universe, spoken once and heard forever: God’s power chord, if you like.  For David Bentley Hart, however, whose mind-bending translation of the New Testament was published in October, the ‘Word’ – as a word – does not suffice: He finds it to be ‘a curiously bland and impenetrable designation’ for the heady concept expressed in the original Greek of the Gospels as ‘Logos.’  The Chinese word Tao might get at it, Hart tells us, but English has nothing with quite the metaphysical flavor of Logos, the particular sense of a formative moral energy diffusing itself, without diminution, through space and time.”[1]

agencia de citas medellin This is how a recent Atlantic Monthly review of Professor Hart’s new and very literal translation of the ancient Greek New Testament begins.  Hart has a reputation as a brilliant and blunt defender of the faith who has taken on the project of translating the original unfiltered content of the scriptures – even if that content  exposes traditional liberties with the text that have become the norm and scandalizes Christians who have not acknowledged the radical outrageousness of their own texts.  So, according to Hart, it’s best that we leave the word ‘Logos’ as ‘Logos.’  In the beginning was the “Word” is just too mild when what it really means is a formative moral energy that shares itself everywhere and in everything without diminishing itself.  This is what was in the beginning.  It was with God and it was God, and according to John this Logos – the pre-existent moral energy sharing itself with everything – is somehow also this man, Jesus Christ.

citas hombres ricos Today’s gospel passage is part of the bridge between the eternal movement of the pre-existent Christ and the earthly ministry of the also human Jesus.  Before setting off to Cana where Jesus offers his first miracle we see him gathering disciples and we see the baton of God’s plan of salvation being passed from the Baptist and Prophet, John, to the “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” Jesus.  The gospel makes a point of it that Christ’s first disciples previously followed John.  John the Baptist points out Jesus and in response two of his men follow.  “Where are you staying?” they say to Jesus, and he replies, “Come and see.”  Another translation says, “Where are you residing?” and Christ’s answer is “Reside with me.”

gay dating valencia John has pointed him out as the promised one of God and now they want to know more about him. Who are you and what are you doing? I think it is important to note that Jesus doesn’t say, “Well, I’m glad you asked.  Please take a seat and I’ll explain to you what is right and wrong in the eyes of God and I’ll teach you all that you’ll need to confess in order to be saved.”  A life of spiritual abundance, a saved life (as John would put it,) is about a different kind of knowing; a knowing that is rooted in participation, in taking part in what Christ is doing, and in a joining together of spirits.  “Come and see.  Reside with me.”

Another aspect of these call passages that I think is important is the simplicity of them; it’s the radical effect of Christ’s words in the light what seem like very basic exchanges.  Jesus says just two words to Philip: “Follow me,” and those two words are enough to change his life forever.  To Nathaniel he says a bit more, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”  What that means to Nathaniel is that without reason or provocation Jesus knows him.  “I saw you under the tree says Jesus.”  But, what Nathaniel seems to hear is the psalm, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up… for it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

The pre-existent moral formative energy of the divine has called Nathaniel by name, and though he’ll “see more than that,” he needs no more than that to surrender his devotion.

Think about what it means to be known.  Think of the people who have taken the time to truly see you, to value you, to care about your thoughts, to live as if what is happening to you and with you matters.  Think of the grace in that, and then think of how much more grace there is in a God who knows you more thoroughly than you can be known and who says to you just as he says to the others, “Come with me.  Reside with me.”

“Everyone kept telling me to change,” says a man in a book I have.  “My family, my best friend told me to change.  I knew I needed to change.  But, as hard as I tried I could not change.  And then someone said to me, ‘Don’t change.  I love you just as you are.’  And, with that, I changed.”[2]

Being seen, being known, being loved, flaws and all is the key to being saved or transformed or awakened into the person you truly are.  This is what gets those disciples, this is what changes them forever, and what makes following Christ worth all the various costs.

But, what I struggle with, what really concerns me, is that when we invite people into the church it’s not this miraculous gift that we give them. Instead we ask them to serve on committees and pay our bills.  Kent and Joe were in the Nichols building two nights last week – actually three for Joe – dealing with busted pipes, a frozen building, and an AA group in need of relocation.  That’s not the kind of Good News that will grow the church and it never has been.

I’m not sure what exactly to do about it.  When pipes break someone needs to fix them.  And if we want a vital church we need vital volunteers, volunteers who will lead, and givers who give.  But, equally true is that the only kind of church whose pipes are worth fixing is one in which the Good News is actually received in the hearts of its members, embodied in their lives, and shared in their fellowship.  We’ve been gifted a great gift, a truth that awakens us to a sacred existence.  And that, I believe, needs to be the main thing.

There are reasons for not making it the main thing.  Richard Rohr says it’s too big – this Good News, this notion of being so infinitely known by and united with the formative moral energy of the universe.  It’s easier to turn religion into rules or to focus on the mundane.  Jan Richardson suggests that such knowledge may challenge us in ways we would rather avoid.  But, to address that concern she’s written something of a poem, which I think is worth sharing.

 

 

 

To receive this blessing,

it may feel like

you are peeling back

every layer of flesh,

exposing every nerve,

baring each bone

that has kept you upright.

 

It may seem

every word is written

on the back of

something that your life

depends upon,

that to read this blessing

would mean tearing away

what has helped you

remain intact.

 

Be at peace.

It will not be

as painful as that,

though I cannot say

it will be easy

to accept this blessing,

written as it is

upon your true frame,

inscribed on the skin

you were born

to live in.

 

The habits that keep you

from yourself,

the misconceptions

others have of you,

the unquestioned limits

you have allowed,

the smallness you have

squeezed into:

 

these are not

who you are.

 

This blessing simply wants

all this to fall away.

 

This blessing—

and it is stubborn on this point,

I assure you—

desires you to know yourself

as it knows you,

to let go of every layer

that is not you,

to release each thing

that you hide behind,

to open your eyes

to see what it sees:

 

how this blessing

has blazed in you

since before you were born;

how it has sustained you

when you could not see it;

how it haunts you,

prickling beneath your skin

to let it shine forth

in full and unstinting

measure;

how it begins

and ends

with your true name.[3]

 

One last thing about the calling of Jesus’ disciples: in site de rencontre aol John Jesus calls a few of them.  “Follow me,” “Come and see,” these are his words first, but they quickly become the words of disciples to other disciples.  That’s how the church of Christ grew.  The divine invitation went from Christ’s lips to the lips of his followers because while the truth of God’s Good News comes from God it is celebrated and lived out in communities of people who practice knowing one another and loving one another just as they are known and loved.

 

 

[1] Theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/the-new-testament-a-translation-david-bentley-hart/546551/

 

[2] from the “Spirituality of Imperfection.”  Page unfound.

[3] https://re-worship.blogspot.ca/search/label/Epiphany%202%20B