Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2 Kings 2:1-12

Year B - Transfiguration or Mountain Top to Valley
February 15, 2015

Whirlwinds find their reversal in silence [ref. The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible].

The original languages translated into “whirlwind” have been variously translated and so it is difficult to track what is going on here in English translations.

Remember that Elijah, famously of the “still small voice”, now meets G*D in a tempest, a whirlwind. Remember the disciples on the lake in the midst of a storm, a whirlwind, who find that storm stilled, quieted, silenced.

In our lives we bounce back and forth between whirlwind and silence with different folks having different proportions of time in each.

It is a transfiguring experience to become aware of G*D in both, the conversation these can have with one another, and our own preferences. When life is too settled, a whirlwind can be helpful in figuring out what is most important and held to when all about you is going to hell in a handbasket. When life is too topsy-turvy, a blessing to regain perspective is time spent in quiet, silence.

Making friends of brother whirlwind and sister silence bears much good fruit. Both can bear G*D and both can be used as a sign of absence from G*D. Our work is to find which is applicable in the current moment and live from its gift.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Mark 9:2-9

Year B - Transfiguration or Mountain Top to Valley
February 15, 2015

A promise has been made: “Some here will see the power of the Presence of G*D before they die.” [Mark 9:1]

Now, six days later, some (Peter, James, John, Jesus) ascend a distant high mountain. With the sun in their eyes, Peter, James, and John saw Jesus and two sun dogs (Moses, Elijah) all connected and communing.

Peter piped up to offer to make three Sukkot dwellings for them before remembering there were no branches here and hauling them up would be untold work. This was evidence that Peter had lost his bearings.

Well, the Presence of G*D can do that.

Before things could be properly sorted out, a cloud obscured the sun and sun dogs. The take away was as the shepherd response to the angels, “Let’s check what we are hearing and follow where it leads.”

It leads to enacting the Presence of G*D, not talking about it.

Admittedly there is extra material tossed in here regarding being raised (vs risen) and that being an opportunity to reflect on the Presence of G*D. However, the disciples being the disciples they were, they didn’t wait to talk amongst themselves about what being connected to their heritage of “Law and Prophet” might mean.

What they lost in talking too soon were the “Writings”, the stories that could make sense of Law and Prophet without the danger of literalizing them. So the disciples saw the Presence of G*D, but had yet to learn how to engage it participating in the real world. They were still trapped in a Heaven and Earth paradigm when only one of Paradise could keep the connection and communing going and healing alive.

In just a few days it will be time to shift gears from this great gift of Presence and enter a time when the rule of thumb is—no Paradise for such as you. It may be that this would be a good Lenten gift to give yourself—attend to the Writings during Lent, not the Prophets and, especially, not the Law. See if Lent can stand on its own without Law/Sin.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Mark 1:29-39

Year B - Epiphany 5 or Guiding Gift 5
February 8, 2015

Mark 1:29-39

First acts of Jesus after garnering disciples: deal with a “demon” with extra energy and a person with a fever, lacking in energy.

These are transformational events that lead to an expectation of a never-ending supply of demons and diseases. “There are more demons and illnesses in Heaven and Earth, Jesus, than hours in your day.” [Horatio means “timekeeper” and thus this quotation reference.]


While retreating in a desert-ed place, comes a demand to get back to work—curing and healing.


No, I am going to continue my vocation, not my work. This vocation is journey oriented, not location specific. So, let’s practice: Staves? (check) Sandals? (check) Daily bread? (check) Advance! (check) Shine in each dark corner we visit. (well, okay)