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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Weeks before Jerusalem

In the weeks before Jerusalem and The Cross, we follow Jesus through a challenging series of events: none more so than his encounter with the woman about to be stoned. It sets the scene for the crucifixion.

When the Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus, it is to trap him. Instead, Jesus traps the Pharisees in their own deceitfulness by asking the one of them without sin to cast the first stone. Boy, if He had asked that of many modern-day politicians, the poor woman would have disappeared in a flash beneath a mound of stones.

The Pharisees are representative of pietistic leaders throughout the ages. Their psychological dopplegangers dot the pages of history: those who know that they are the "chosen" ones of their age.

With this encounter, Jesus sets the stage for endless encounters between the faith which will bear his name and those who "know-that-they-know" through the ages. The encounter of a Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Nazism, the bold stance of an Oscar Romero ag…

A Lenten Parable

I'm working on the Parable of the Prodigal Son for March 14th. I've been working on it for about a week now. Of course, the three main themes are: (1) the pentitent son, (2) the jealous older brother, and (3) the overarching them is that Helmut Thielike called "The Waiting Father." For this Sunday I've decided to center in on several themes: (1) God's ways are not ours, (2) the cycle of sin and repentance is part of every human being.

The theme of God's difference is one which is often in my mind. The Bible tells us that "My Ways are not yours." It also speaks of God as both person and Being beyond personhood. For me the most poignant example of this latter thought is found in Moses' encounter with the Burning Bush. When God speaks in response to Moses' question of His identity, God says: "I am That I am." There is a distinctive sense of God's 'Otherness' in this response.

Yet, Jesus speaks of God as 'Fat…