Tag Archives: rabbi

2020 VISION — PART II

My 2020 vision is already crystal clear. I am positively not going to make it to the bewitching hour of 12 A.M.

Mama Mick used to say – “No sense letting a holiday go to waste. Celebrate even if you are by yourself.” So there you go. My wise mama, who would always babysit for me but never go out with me on New Years Eve, shared her wisdom once again. And – thus – no matter where I was, what I was doing, I would find a way to call her as the ball began to drop.Back in the day, when I was singing on New Years Eve or involved elsewhere, this became a little complicated – especially since cell phones were a few decades in the future. But I can still hear her voice as she answered the phone, “Happy New Year, Brynie.”

No caller ID needed. She knew – I knew. A tradition that continued until she no longer remembered to stay awake to answer, and I cried. Still want to pick up the phone and call her tonight.

“Baby Face, you’ve got the cutest little baby face
There’s not another one could take your place,”

So – since I am already yawning, watching my favorite movie for New Years Eve, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, munching away on Mama Mick’s traditional shrimp, chips, cheese (brie instead of swiss) and some OH trail bologna, all I needed to do was add a little mead wine from a local meadery, and my 2020 celebration began a little early..

“Baby face,
My poor heart is jumpin you sure have started somethin’…”

Much is being made about the new decade – the roaring 20’s – which just kinda adds to the ambience of this New Years Eve celebration. I was raised on the music of the 20’s
“Baby Face”
“Ain’t Misbehavin'”
“Someone to Watch Over Me.”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Melancholy Baby”
“April Showers”
“Swanee”
“My Blue Heaven”
I have a feeling, there are a few other Loudonville “kids” who grew up watching their parents sing these songs out there, just like me.

The Roaring 20’s were just that. The Charleston. The new-fangled radio. Movies. Cars. WWI was officially over – the war to end all wars kicked it off with a roar. But a word of caution…the 20’s didn’t end that way.

“Therefore I live for today. Certain of finding at sunrise – Guidance and Strength for the way, Power for each moment of weakness, Hope for each moment of pain, Comfort for every sorrow, Sunshine and joy after rain!”~Anon.

We never know what the new walk around the sun will bring. It is often a mixture of opposites – of darkness and light. Last year, God gave me the Bible verse that set the tone for 2019.

“Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”– Rev 21:5

I had one idea of how that would work out. Our Father had am entirely different idea. Valley faith walks grow a whole lot faster than they do in the bright sunlight of a meadow – especially since I have this tendency to lay down, close my eyes and just enjoy the beautiful day around me while I take a little nap.

Sigh.

This year, I’ve been reading and re-reading about Hanukkah. Listening to podcasts, watching videos, then reading the Bible. After listening to one Rabbi speak on it tonight, I pulled out the Catholic Bible so I could read Maccabees. Did you know the only place Hanukkah is mentioned in the protestant Bible is in John 10? Jesus celebrates it. He is the only one mentioned celebrating it anywhere in the Bible. I am fascinated for way too many reasons to list here, but it is leading me on a new adventure, and I love these kind of adventures. While I haven’t found my verse of the year – yet – I know He will supply it in His own time.

In the meantime, I found this tonight, and it’s just too beautiful not to share on this last night of the decade/the last night of the year.There may be dark times ahead – there may be armies so vast that I am completely dumbfounded and overwhelmed – but I have read the end of His book. My eyes are on Him, so how can I not be optimistic about 2020?

I would say my 2020 vision is working better than I deserve.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Rev 22:1-5 

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Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.

http://http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/intro/whatisai.cfm

The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

http://http://www.whatthebleep.com/

Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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DAYS OF AWE

Yom kippurThe Days of Awe are almost over.
10 holy days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Days spent in self-examination of the past year’s thoughts, actions, emotions.
Days of repentence.
I love Jewish traditions and wisdom. Many of you know that. I write about it often. This year’s Days of Awe have pulled at me. Maybe it is because I am beginning to understand Jewish tradition a little more. Maybe because I finally am feeling more like “me”. Maybe because I am listening a little harder for my Father’s voice.
“I must proclaim the Kingdom of God to other cities also; it is for this I am sent.” Lk 4:43b
Tomorrow at sunset Yom Kippur begins for the Jewish nation. Accoring to Jewish tradition, it is the day when Our Father God seals into His books that which He has written for the course of the year to come. It is also believed that the sincerity of one’s introspection and repentence can change what God seals in His books on Yom Kippur. No wonder it is called Days of Awe.
“Therefore faith is from the hearing ear, and the hearing ear is from the word of God.” Rm 10:17
 
I watched several videos and read some articles this week about the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. The stories that had confused and baffled me with their wandering timelines and curious discourses shook with a slight breeze of clarity that sharpened and then quickly clouded over again. I sat in wonder, and wondered if I would be able to see through the clouds again. I beheld a nebulous concept for a half a second, and the Days of Awe straightened the rock upon which I stand..
“For by faith we understand that the worlds were fashioned by the word of God, and these things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.” Heb 11:3
 
I really liked reading one article that talked about angels. On Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition calls for all people to become like angels whose main purpose is to serve God in all that they do.. Primarily, rabbis teach that to be like an angel, one should, above all else, stand upon their faith in all that they do. Angels are characteristically pictured wearing white, so they encourage their congregants to also wear white. Finally, since angels don’t need to eat or drink, they should fast. Actually, there is a whole list of things to do to become more angelic, but I think you get the point.
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” Deut 28:1-2
Tomorrow the sun will come up, and the world will twirl just a little bit more in its orbit. People will get up, stretch and never think about God. I will go to Bible study, pick up my miniature Captain America at pre-school, and then head off for a couple hours of tutoring where I am commonly referred to as, “Miss Grammie”. Yet – somewhere deep inside me – the Jewish day of fasting and repentance will begin to radiate, and I will see a seal being placed upon my book of life.
It is Yom Kippur.
Pope Francis arrives tomorrow.
yeshua high priestDecisions will be made tomorrow.
And if you believe, as Rabbi Yeshua believed, God will seal a new book of life.
A traditional Jewish greeting for this day is, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” Seems like tomorrow holds a promise. A promise written in a book. A promise given by the ultimate Promise Keeper who set his covenant in the sky for all to see. Baruch Hashem Adonai.SOT-timeline22

BUT…

I know that a lot of conservative Christians feel that Halloween is not a holiday that needs to be celebrated.  It is pagan in it’s origins.  A time when spirits roam the earth and witches rule the skies.  It celebrates the “darkness” of human life with scary images and horrific  experiences that most of us abhor.  Gravestones.  Boiling pots of magical brew.  Strobe lights that crash the mind.  Eerie music emanating from the night. Webs of deceit that tangle around our body as much as inside our head.  Satanic influences that glorify the ugly sins that happen all too often.

Good reasons one and all.

BUT…

and this is prayerfully submitted…

BUT…

It can also be warm family memories.  Laughter embed with love.  Sweet treats that remind us of special occasions.  Choices exist within choices upon this crazy habitat that Our Father designed just for us.  I’m sure He hoped, like all of us hope for our children, that we would never experience the pain of sin and sorrow.  But…free will allows us to dance around the fires of choice, and all too often we end up getting burnt.  BUT…choice also allows us to decide not to stick our extremities in the fire or dance so close that we burn the things we love.

But…

img822Perhaps because I grew up in the fabled era of the 50’s/60’s…perhaps because I grew up in a small town surrounded by neighbors who acted like extended family…perhaps because horror and fear were an abstract instead of a daily reality…Halloween was more filled with Christ than with the evil one. My Halloweens were filled with a mother who created costumes out of scraps img820(gotta love her choice of costume for me when I was five)…dark runs through many neighborhoods filled with faces that I knew as well as I knew my family’s…contests with my best friends for apples, candy and costumes…family businesses that handed out miniatures bags of whatever they made…pictures boxes of memories filled with family love.

“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” 
Isaiah 41:13

There is a story in Jewish tradition that tells about a rabbi who went to eat with a poor man and his wife.  They had nothing to serve the rabbi except some flour.  So the wife went into the woods to find some herbs to enhance the flour that she would serve to the rabbi.  As she picked the herbs and spices that Jehovah-Jireh had designed so long ago, she prayed that they would not only nourish their their rabbi but bless him with all the beauty that was once in the Garden of Eden.  Later in the week, the rabbi’s wife approached the poor woman and begged her for the recipe of the rabbi’s wonderful meal.  The poor woman was stunned.  She explained that she had served him only flour, water and some spices.  The rabbi’s wife was also stunned.  She told the woman that her husband had said it tasted so good that it must of come straight from the Garden of Eden.  At that, the poor woman started to cry.  She remembered her prayer over the herbs that she had gathered that day.  God had heard her prayers and blessed her as much as He had blessed her rabbi.

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
— Isaiah 41:14

Halloween can still be the pagan holiday of the past.  Halloween can still offer monsters and scary demons a chance to dance around in all the gory ugliness that this world has to offer. Halloween can still be the pagan holiday that people create over and over again by their everyday choices.  Halloween can still be a time when the evil one rejoices.

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BUT…

Like the poor wife, when we pray…….Halloween can also be something made new because Jesus Christ has brought light into the darkness.  It can be another kind of day…another chance for families to gather together and bless the night with LIGHT.  A time when LOVE…that brings the moon out from beyond the clouds…reaches beyond hope…passes beyond understanding…and takes over the darkness that the evil one has spread and warms the chilly air that he has brought with its pagan beginnings.

I, for one, am thankful for Halloween and the wonderful memories I have buried in my heart, and all the new memories I am helping to create in the Grands.  BUT…most of all…I am thankful for Jesus Christ that lightens the darkness of this world with His love and reminds me to keep looking up and praying over everything I do.HALLOWEEN LOVE

 

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Theft.

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrevIt has been a challenging week.  Things have not gone at all the way I expected or wanted.  However, deep inside of me, I know that God knows that is how I learn best.  So…as much as I hate assessments…I keep trying to look for the wisdom in all that is going on around me and remember that Jehovah-Rapha stands beside me just as Jehovah-Nissi is ready to help fight my battles.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more severely than others.” Jm 3:1

Today, I was ready to ignore writing again.  When I am wrestling with a “God Assessment”, I tend to do more reflection than teaching.  Teaching means being sure of  my subject matter and relying on my faith to guide my words and concepts.  Reading, devotions, playing with the dogs, seem to give me a better perspective as I work through whatever the current faith-walk plagues my life at the moment.  It’s strange – music has always been a big part of my faith life, yet now, when I am troubled, I don’t go into the music room. Instead, I turn to the WORD and reading things from other sages – especially those of Jewish tradition.  It was during this time that I found a small little piece of information buried in a rabbi’s writing.

tov

This is the Jewish letter Tov.  Its initial letter Tet also represents the letter nine as it is the ninth letter of the Jewish alphabet. Tet also represents the word “good”; as in “… God saw that it was good. Gen 1:12b   Amazingly it is also the only letter of the Hebrew alphabet that was left out of the first time Moshe brought the tablets down off the mountain. (Ex 20) Yet – in the second set of laws that Moshe brought off the mountain, it was included. (Deut 5:15 in the word “outstretched”  NeTuYah) Hmmmmm….

Jewish tradition holds that it is because anything “Good” lasts forever. Our omniscient Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu foresaw these events in our linear life line.  Had He included Tov in the first tablets, they could not have been destroyed.  Only Our Father God knows why things had to play out the way they did.  What important God Assessments did these scarred and damaged people have to “grow” through to achieve the unity of being His united and chosen people?  Maybe it was just that – they would no longer see themselves as a people enslaved to other societies – other gods – other lands.  That they would see themselves as His people – united by His love, His grace, and His law.

“You shall not steal.” Ex 20:15

On the physical level it is a very straight forward law, and it makes sense to most of us.  After all, who wants to go through getting arrested, going to court, being convicted?  When Moshe presents it a second time in Deut 5, it is still a very straight forward law.  Again, why would we do anything but that?  But what if – what if there was more to it?  Don’t steal away.  Don’t steal a glance.  Don’t steal someone’s heart. Don’t steal the spotlight.  Don’t steal anything…….period.  The 10 Commandments are still relevant.  They still make us think.  They are still a strong guideline for our lives as we journey this faith-walk.  Our Father knew that as He carved them.  They were meant to last until Christ returns and is able to establish “…Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”   Kinda important, don’t ya think?  That being said…should I stop singing this hymn??????  Somehow – I think not.  ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #32

It has been a long week for some reason. Haven’t really done that much, but every day was different. As if the wash cycle had switched to the spin cycle and then back to wash. In essence the water kept building up all week, soaking deeper and deeper until eventually, the machine just chugged to a stop. Eyes barely open; zoning out watching a favorite musical (Meet Me in St. Louis) and yawning every two seconds. Don’t know why I can’t write these journals at 5 o’clock instead of 10. And yet – here I sit – thinking about this journey. Introspection continues when I really wish I could just go to sleep. Is that how the disciples felt? What is it about this journey that pulls me in year after year after year?

And yet – it does -and has since I was a toddler and rejected a cuddly bunny for a crucifix that still hangs in my room.

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matt 12:40

Early in His ministry, Rabbe Yeshua began dropping hints of what was to come. Metaphor upon metaphor. One repentance story linked to another repentance story. Steeped in Jewish wisdom and Jewish tradition, Rabbe Yeshua taught for three years in the physical heart of the earth…Israel. But this time, He would expand the heart to include Gentiles and eventually enlarge the heart to cover the world. Salvation in practice. Instead of unblemished animal sacrifices and intercessory priests, Rabbe Yeshua would drink …”…a cup is in the hand of the LORD…” Ps 75:6

He reached out, “Then I took the cup from the LORD’s hand…” Jer 25:15

Even in His first night’s journey in “the heart of the earth”, He reached into Himself – the WORD – and brought forth the words that would link the past to the future. An unbroken chain that ties us all to Our Father. From the first garden, designed to be heaven on earth, to the garden where He wept and let the cup begin to spill upon Him instead of letting it spill upon us. He took Our Father’s wrath and spun it into unending LOVE. Love for you. Love for me. This Rabbi Yeshua Barabbas did this for all of us.

“Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger…This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
your God, who defends his people: “See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.” Is 51:17,22

The day of pain, suffering and agony is over.

lucasgrail

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #31

Rabbe Yeshua Barabbas began the last leg of His journey tonight. Betrayed by on friend. Denied by another. Hobbled by His own priests. Beaten by those sworn to His Father’s service. 

We’ve all been there at one time or another. Betrayed. Denied. Hobbled. Beaten. Verbs that bring us to our knees, Actions that break us. Pain that sears our souls. Is it any wonder that Rabbe Yeshua prayed and wept? Don’t we?

And perhaps – that is the short message for tonight. He asked his disciples to stay awake and pray three times that night. (Matt 26:36-46; Lk 22:39-46; Mk 14:32-42) His last words to them: “Pray with me.” “Keep watch with me.” So then should we pray without ceasing. keep watch. and remember – that is what He did for us. He did all of this – for us. He prayed without ceasing. He kept watch.

Betrayed.

Denied.

Hobbled.

Beaten.

And still – He prayed. He kept watch. For us. With us. Always.jesus praying

Lenten Journey #30

 

Holy Thursday –

Covenant Thursday –

Maundy Thursday – “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos”

The long journey to Jerusalem is over. The introspection of self – the virtues – the analysis of character – the deep down conviction of beliefs – comes to a salient conclusion. Now the journey will be shorter and becomes “action”. Maundy Thursday becomes the journey to the cross. The sacrificing of “self” for the love of others. Maundy, an old English word derived from the Latin phrase stated above. “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” ~Jn 13:34 quoting Jesus.

This is when the 5 W’s might come into play (and of course – throw in a “How” as well) What would you do if you knew? Where would you go? Who would you touch? How would you spend it? When will it begin? Why does it have to be this way? Did Rabbe Yeshua ask these of Himself? I think I would…especially – the “Why?”

Today was a full day. Got to play with the grands again since they are out of school and a tiny bit sick with colds. Came home – grabbed a “cat-nap” for 15 min and on my way to school. Spring has hit the school – teenage angst – petty squabbles – CCS last minute testing push – and tired staff – normal stuff. Went to store, fixed supper, and within 2 min on-line…dozed off listening to a favorite hymn.

Didn’t last long. The video had ended and the laptop had just dimmed as it prepared for sleep mode. I guess I was tired. Yet I did dream. Mom and dad;s voice were still echoing the same hymn I had been watching, but I saw me dancing as I had in my childhood home – cloaked in the white lace curtains that I had used whenever I danced for joy around the house. Memory? Gift? Blessing? All I know I feel blessed and revived…almost ready to throw off my bothersome arthritis and dance again. 

Maundy Thursday leads us to the journey of the cross…but after the cross…is the journey that I look forward to the most. “Holy, Holy, Holy” This is the way I remember it – Jane Eyer Mayer playing the organ. Mom on one side – Dad on the other (when he wasn’t fishing in God’s “real” church) and me soaking it in until I could do nothing else, but dance for joy for days afterwards.

v. 3 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

 

Lenten Journey #26

Hmmm…not sure how I missed posting this one.  But…

a little late…

a little out of order…

yet…

here it is. =)

 

“For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me…” Ps 31:13

Gossip – bullying – rumors – innuendos swirl around all of us everyday. The advent of technology just made it travel faster and in wider and wider circles. Yet – as you can see, as far back as the OT and King David, the apple was always there waiting to be bitten.

apple_malware_457249The apple sits in the palm of every hand, and every person has that choice in one way or another. Bite off a piece and enjoy the sweet taste…or set it aside. It is tempting to grab a bite quikcly. After all. most of our friends are biting off huge chunks of the fruit and there might not be any left…we do tend to be greedy at times. But like all apples that fall from the Tree of Life into our lap, there is a worm. Hidden among the sweetness and the crunchy meat of the tempting fruit, a worm makes its way to our innards where it squiggles and starts to grow. Craving more and more apples of various types, our stomachs become a roiling, pitching sea of unease.

Rabbe Jesus understood this apple very well. He was driven from towns and temples, probably more frequently than we know, because of this apple. As Palm Sunday drew closer, more and more of this particular kind of apple was being eaten by many of the Jewish people. The worm took much longer to raise its ugly head in those days sans twitter/FB/instagram/etc., but grow it did. 5 days is all it took. Triumph to Tragedy. Sweet to Sour.

Feasting on any of these types apples will never fill the stomach. Rabbe Jesus knew this and shared Himself – His words – His life -His love – that we might have enough armor to ward off the pangs of hunger and eat of any apple that falls from the Tree of Life. Yet it is still our choice. The lenten journey is a time for introspection, faith and often – choices.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” Jn 14:27-31