Friday, April 20, 2018

John 10:12-13

elected leaders
care only about our votes -
loving their power

~ tiwago

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

316 Proof

A meditation upon 1 John 3:16-24

Spring Comes to Raccoon Grove 
(photography by tiwago)


We humans need "proof": signs; witnesses; documentation; references; experiences... (Sidebar: I should note that "proof" is also the measure of the strength of [alcoholic] "spirits"!)

So, how does John prove that Jesus loves us, and what proof can we show that we love Christ back? 
1. We know what love is because Jesus laid down his life for the lovable, AND for we the unlovable alike. (1 John 3:16 AND John 3:16)
2. We know we love him IF we in turn lay down our lives for the unlovable just as we would for our loved-ones.
3. There is NO love within someone who has material wealth who, seeing another in need, does not give material aid.
4. Love can NOT be shown with just "thoughts and prayers", but through truth and action.
5. We OBEY his commandments to love God and others, and to feed his sheep.

This then is the proof we needed: that we know and show we abide in him by the signs of our deeds; and are reassured that he abides in us by the work of the Spirit within and through us.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Christ the Reject


a stone rejected
tossed aside
the wrong shape
to fit in the space
where they wanted it

tossed aside
unwanted waste
quarry pit spoil 
foul midden pile
cursed golgotha

a stone barrier
tossed aside
death rejected
in the garden
stone monument

tossed aside
no two stones touching
religiousness rejected
a self-sanctifying space
cold temple torn down

salvaged from
the scrap-heap
a new cornerstone

even if i closed my mouth
these stones would testify

~ tiwago



(photography by tiwago)



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Frightened by Peace; a Ghost Story


Haunted? 


"Peace be with you," he told them. Yet they were very afraid - his unexpected presence startled them and terrified them. They acted as if they'd seen a ghost!

Most of us believe that we don't believe in ghosts - and yet, don't we act like we do anyway? Sometimes, don't we find it easier to believe in the sad ghosts of our past and in divine-punishment than in the glad joy of a new future and in divine-providence? Do we not believe more in palpable war and revenge than in intangible peace and forgiveness? Are we not haunted? "Why are you afraid?" he asked.

Fear is the doubt of there being goodness in the future; so he showed them signs proving the reality of hope. Do we look right through our mental projections of an insubstantial idea of Jesus, or do we daily see Christ's stigmata of the flesh in those around us? Surely, they wondered how to interpret such signs? 

While in the midst of their joy, they still struggled to believe - they still wondered. One foot in the grave, the other in the kingdom, they were in a blessedly open state of amazed wonderment. They were now ready to let go and bloom.

"Do you have anything to eat?" he asked.

The sheep, who had been so often fed, gave food to their hungry King; their minds opened like dormant flowers in the Spring. They at last understood. The simple act of sharing food had made it all real.

(Luke 24:36-48)



(photography by tiwago)








Friday, April 6, 2018

The First Church Council Meeting

"Jesus commanded his church to go out and preach the gospel to all cultures, not to huddle inside and manage decline." 
~ Leonard Sweet


The last three days had been a public-image nightmare! It had reached a climax just this morning. So tonight the church leadership held a closed-door meeting. The doors were locked and the windows were shuttered, for fear of the religious authorities - for privacy too. 

What a mess! They had lost members in droves, revenue was down,  and their public standing and social influence were at an all-time low. The head of the finance committee had brought about their downfall seeking money and worldly influence. Peter, the blustering would-be hero, was revealed to be first foolishly reckless, and then less than heroic. All the male "followers" looked more like "fleers"; the women had made them look bad.  And worst of all, when their Master had returned, it had been to a WOMAN! What were they going to do?

One, standing unobserved among them, spoke up: "Peace be with you." In order to gain recognition from the council chairman, he showed them his hands and his feet. Then they passed an unanimous motion of rejoicing!

So, he said to them again: "Peace be with you."

"As the Father sent me to reconcile you with Him, so I send you out to reconcile others." Then, his breath filled them; "Receive the Holy Spirit. Do not sit back and judge, but go out and forgive! Those you forgive will be forgiven; those whom you do not forgive will not be forgiven."

But Didymus the Twin (aka Judas Thomas) was not at the meeting. Afterwards, the others gave him a copy of the meeting minutes, but he did not believe them (since it was April 1st). "I will only believe you if I see for myself the the nail-holes in his palms, if I put my finger into the hole in his palm, IF I SHOVE MY WHOLE HAND INTO THE GAPING SPEAR-WOUND IN HIS SIDE! Only then will I believe you foolers."

Next Sunday, they gathered together for another Council meeting. Due to the interruption, they had tabled all their business and not gotten any real business accomplished. This time, Thomas was there at the table. Again, the doors were locked to keep out unwanted input and interference. Again they heard: "Peace be with you."

He was standing there, right beside Thomas. "Tom, look at my violated hands. Put your finger through these holes like another nail. Insert your hand into my chest-cavity, and feel my heart beating. Don't doubt Mary, or your brothers; believe your senses - believe me."

Thomas muttered, "My Lord!"; and then shouted, "MY GOD!" Jesus laughed.

"So, now that you have experienced my return, do you believe it? Go. Bless all those who have not experienced it for themselves, and still believe it anyway."




PS: After that, Jesus did many other reinforcing signs before his disciples, which no one has written down. What I have written has been given to you that you too may believe.

(John 20:19-31)



(photography by tiwago)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Word of Life


I
We
Write to you
What has been
What we have heard
What we have seen
What we have studied
What we have TOUCHED
The Word of Life

A
Life
Revealed to us
Which we have seen
We write to you
Eternal Life
With the Father
Revealed to us
We write about
What we have seen
What we have heard
In full-disclosure fellowship
In community-building
For full fellowship 
With the Father and
With the Son

I
We
Write to you
To complete your joy
What we have heard
From the Son
We write to you
     God
     Is
     Light
In God there is
No darkness whatsoever 

If
We say 
We are in fellowship
With the Father
Yet walk in darkness
WE ARE LIARS
We are not Truth-sayers
We are not Truth-doers
But

If 
We walk
In the Light
In God
We are in fellowship
With other Light-walkers
And the Blood
Of Jesus the Son
Purifies us
Removes our darkness

If
We say
We are without sin
We fool only ourselves
We are without Truth
We are without Trust

If
We confess
What and who we are
He who IS faithful
He who IS just
Will forgive us for
What we have done
What we have been
Removing our darkness
Purifying us

If
We say 
We are without sin
We say Jesus is a liar
We say Jesus died
A useless death
The Word of Life
Is not within us

My little ones
I
We
Write to you
So that you may be
Without sin
But

If
Anyone does sin
We have an Advocate
Who stands for us
Before the Father
Who stands in the breach 
That we created
Christ the Righteous One
The Atonement
For our sinfulness
For our sin-filled-ness

Not only for ours
But also for those
Of the whole world

(1 John 1:1-2:2)



(photography by tiwago)






Monday, April 2, 2018

Tested

For the while, the entire community were of one thought with one dream; none possessed anything of their own, but everything was pooled together for the public welfare. With great passion, the apostles among them shared their Spirit-filled testimonies as to the Christ they had personally known as Teacher and friend, and of the miracles they had themselves see. Not one person among them was in dire need! Any of them who had had real-estate interests or capital assets had sold them for the purpose of being redistributed to those who were poor.

(Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35)


     "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" 
(Psalm 133:1)

It did not last long...



(photography by tiwago)

John 10:12-13

elected leaders care only about our votes - loving their power ~ tiwago