Today’s Reading: John 11:17-37 (NRSV)”Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”Both Martha and Mary say this to Jesus in today’s passage. We empathize with them and many people in their grief may feel the same way. When w…
Today’s Reading: John 11:1-16 (NRSV)This is the second time that Bethany is mentioned in John’s Gospel. The first was in Chapter 1 when John the Baptist is questioned by priests and Levites sent by the Pharisees. He points to Jesus rather t…
Today’s Reading: John 10:22-42 (NRSV)Jesus has another run-in at the Temple here. He plainly states for us, “The Father and I are one.” in verse 30. In response, they pick up rocks to stone him (which was the proper sentence for blasphemy)….
Today’s Reading: John 10:1-21 (NRSV)We encounter two more of the “I am” statements within today’s reading. Jesus declares, “I am the gate.”and”I am the good shepherd.”These are important metaphors for people to understand how they relate to God. …
Today’s Reading: John 9:35-41 (NRSV)As we continue with the theme of spiritual blindness within John, it seems to be closely tied with humility. The Pharisees who claim to see spiritually better than most, are told they are actually blind. …
Today’s Reading: John 9:13-34 (NRSV)
|Why do the sweetest blackberries
seem to have the biggest thorns?
Have you ever had two competing truths? It really is amazing how often life can be predicted to go a certain way. We often find ourselves relying on other people to act in their predictable patterns and when they don’t, we become offended.
Within today’s reading, we see that the Pharisees had two things that they believed:
1) A person that defies the Sabbath (or at least their understanding of it) is not on the same page as God.
2) A person that provides spectacular healing miracles could only do so in partnership with God.
So what if you have a person that gives evidence of these miracles and interprets the Sabbath differently? Something does not add up.
Is it possible that I was misinterpreting the Sabbath?
Well, that couldn’t be it. The miracles must be a sham!
The Pharisees give an excellent example of the human being’s stubborn refusal to reinterpret reality if the facts don’t line up with our assumptions. We have all done this in life to some extent. We have all seen people refuse to address reality and it is sad. We hope that our own examples haven’t been too obvious or public or else it becomes rather embarrassing.
As we consider the miraculous, we are often more skeptical than embracing. What if we began to reexamine the things around us with an eye toward God?
Prayer for the day:
Gracious God, we believe that
‘Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.’
May we take off our shoes more times than not. Amen.
This prayer was modified from my favorite poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Aurora Leigh.”
Photo by Alice Rosen via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.
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Today’s Reading: John 8:39-59 (NRSV)How do you know if someone’s influence comes from God or the devil? That seems to be the crux of the theme surrounding today’s reading. Jesus claims that the authorities are from the devil and they claim that h…
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