July 18, 2011

Luke 6.46->

Why do you keep calling me "Lord, Lord"-- and never do what I tell you?

Everyone who comes to me and hears what I say, and acts upon it-- I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundations on rock. When the flood came, the river burst upon that house, but could not shift it, because it had been solidly built.

But he who hears and does not act is like a man who built his house on the soil without foundations. As soon as the river burst upon it, the house collapsed, and fell with a great crash.


At 1:44 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

“Why do you keep calling me 'Lord, Lord'-- and never do what I tell you?”

Because I’m in charge. And You are a guest. I’ll tolerate You. Stop asking these Socratic questions. The hemlock is ready. And the cup of my covenant is full. Just do as I say.

At 2:10 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

The Fourfold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

Stolen. Shamelessly. From “Experimental Theology.”

I’m in a Brother Sun and Sister Moon mood. Howling at the moon. Already had my morning run. Under the Sun.

What do I get for my sweat?

I return to work – to see William Blake’s – Michael Binding Satan – set as my desktop wallpaper. Blake’s irritations have been haunting me for years.

So I’m sufficiently Blakean-mad. And Franciscan irritated.

Trying to know whether the Lamb’s war – is won by me? – Or the Lamb?


At 10:02 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Sometimes when you wax poetic... It just eludes me.

I like to think of myself as fairly wild-&-crazy, but in some sense quite straightforward... & some of your reversals, well... Do you really think you're "in charge"?

At 10:26 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

When we read this, the tendency is to think it's about us. As individuals.

At some point-- This is God talking to his people! [It's not like Jesus had everyone calling him 'Lord' in those days; that's what they called God!]

"Build God "a house" without 'coming to' God, without hearing what God 'says', without doing that-- and the 'house' in question: the Temple-- will be merely a human construct. It'll fall if it fails to fulfil God's purpose."

[This isn't the only place Jesus 'talks for God'; my favorite example (though scary, if you take Matthew's 'Last Judgement' setting at face value) is the part about "What you do to the least of your siblings".]

But this didn't stop resonating, long after Jesus said it. Certainly it applies to a great many Christians, since then.

It seems very difficult to "act upon" what Jesus says, unless you are "coming to God" and paying attention. As often as you can remember. But so far as you do that, it becomes utterly natural. ["No praise, no blame," as the I Ching says.]

At 2:24 a.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

Sorry about the reversal.

What I’m saying above is that the answer to the question Jesus asked is simple. The answer is emotional. I want to be in charge. That’s why I do not do what Jesus says. It’s just a way of putting a direct emotional confession in plain view for correction. I feel these kinds of moments daily. When I think I’m in charge.

Now – to Jesus addressing the nation (or people corporate). I mentioned earlier the scales – God working across all scales. Infinite in all directions. To all scales. I don’t assume that corporate and national address by Jesus must have some sort of national, ethnic, or Temple-cult scale only. There were indeed graduated scales of intimacy in both invitation and in human response (the texts suggest) – nation (yes), 70, 12, 3, 1 (reclining on Jesus’s chest).

Yes. I live in a nation. In a hemisphere. In a global (sorta) economic sphere. But not every Jesus-homily with an inclusive national cast must be fitted as national address. Inclusive spiritual access is itself inclusive of human response across scales.

Now, smaller scale. “Two or three gathered.” For an illustration. I’m talking on the phone to someone who is suffering in a very difficult situation. Only two of us. Small scale. Could apply at larger scales. I’m blathering about some technical details. Important details. But I’m feeling an intense inward voice telling me to encourage her. I ignore the inward tug. I’m in charge. I keep talking technicalities. This cycles a few times. Finally, I shut up. Stay silent a moment. Focus inwardly. Listen. Then encouraged her. Simple, tender words. Thirty seconds of silence on the phone. Nothing. Then crying. She was ready to commit suicide that night. She just needed the encouragement.

At that moment, Rome could be burning. I did what I needed -- at the scale of “two .. gathered.”

Slightly smaller scale. And Jesus in national address? – I take somewhat literally what Jesus said about going alone into the closet. And shutting the door. Now he’s not telling the whole nation corporately to enter some super-massive group closet – (like huge covered hangers at NASA/Moffett Field). He’s telling individuals – at individual scales – to enter individual closets. Private places. He too withdrew to lonely places. I do think that time spent daily and all alone in private listening-silence accentuates sensitivity to these inner subtle rebellions. Sure, silent introspection alone – may – become a form of spiritual naval gazing. And stagnation. Escapism. Peter wanted to stay on his rooftop. And argue his holiness.

So these texts (imho) have sliding scales of appropriateness.

I haven’t gotten to – nor found a corporate body in – an abiding and enduring place of natural and non-rebellious or non-judging harmony such as the I Ching says. I have felt such in partial natural rhythms. Inwardly. And in groups. For episodes. Seasons of time. But I haven’t arrived at an unbroken chain.

The Temple - was a human construct. And needed to be cleansed. Since cleansing didn’t work - torn down in its ongoing political rebellions.

I don’t assume that all private individuals who took daily time in private closets were immunized from the destruction of the Temple and the nation. Some wandered in caves. Some were sawn in half. The only clear covenantal-like promise that I can see is – unbroken communion (“always be with you”). A corporate offer, yes. On scales differently to those who differently receive.

Just my view from my vanishingly small part of the universe.

At 2:28 a.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...


At 11:24 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

I'd be sorry-- if I didn't like your response so much! (Irony tends to miss me-- maybe because,as Anne tells me: one should "Never use sarcasm on stupid people.") But that afterthought? One hangarful of people divided by one hangarful equals one?

Different scales for different purposes? Ten people can't be wiser than one, but something can happen between them that makes each person's wisdom available?

But if we have a book written to/by a whole nation-- it only becomes embodied as far as each person reads it and sees whatever truth went into it.

[I've been emphasising the immediate, historical aspect of this stuff, because I've always been curious what "really happened", how Jesus' life & sayings made sense to him at the time. Because the way people read it since then has tended to cloud that, in fact made it quite unintelligible.

But then, God continues to address each person/group... with everything that we're given to see, Bible included!)


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