Among the People

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.”
(Matthew 4:23–25)

I’m working on Matthew 4:12-25 this week and after many readings of the text it’s starting to open up to me. This portion of the text constantly refers to Galilee which is meant to draw our attention to a particular area and milieu that Jesus is doing his work within. Later in v. 23, as you can see above, it says that we find Jesus working “among the people.” This grabs my attention as a central theme that Matthew’s Gospel has been building on since the genealogy. Continue reading

Six Books that Changed My Perspective in 2013

It takes me awhile to read a book, but that’s probably because I love to have three or four or six books going all at once. I usually have at least one fiction going, a book for spiritual insight, a more academic text, and then some kind of personal development book (leadership, some skill I’m trying to learn, etc).

This must be partially because I get bored with just one book, partially because I’m interested in an idea in this or that book, so I pick it up and add it too the stack. Once I pick up the idea I set it down until interest strikes again. You wouldn’t believe how many books I have that have a bookmark halfway through them! I am sure this is some kind of personal flaw, but I’ve decided to just accept it and move on. Continue reading

Getting Found in Translation: Reflecting on Issues of Theological Translation

Flickr Credit Kuba Bożanowski

presence

Whenever Quakers from various streams get together, similarities and differences quickly arise. This is the current state of our tradition; it’s not something we should fight against. Instead, we need to learn how to move within it by being clear about who we are while “moving towards sympathy,” as Howard Thurman says, with another. This work of being clear about who I am while embracing someone else is part-and-parcel of what it means to translate. Continue reading

Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey

“In the long way that we take in, in our growing up, in the vicissitudes of life by which we are led into its meaning and mystery, there are established for us, for each one of us, certain landmarks. They represent discoveries sometimes symbolizing the moment when we became aware of the purpose of our lives; they may establish for us our membership in the human frailty; they may be certain words that were spoken into a stillness within us the sound thereof singing forever through all the corridors of our being as landmarks; yes, each one of us has our own…”

A (New) Family Portrait (Matthew 1)

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Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, Jacob had Judah and his brothers, Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar), Perez had Hezron, Hezron had Aram, Aram had Amminadab, Amminadab had Nahshon, Nahshon had Salmon, Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother), Obed had Jesse, Jesse had David, and David became king. David had Solomon (Uriah’s wife was the mother), Solomon had Rehoboam, Rehoboam had Abijah, Abijah had Asa, Asa had Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat had Joram, Joram had Uzziah, Uzziah had Jotham, Jotham had Ahaz, Ahaz had Hezekiah, Hezekiah had Manasseh, Manasseh had Amon, Amon had Josiah, Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers, and then the people were taken into the Babylonian exile…Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband, the Mary who gave birth to Jesus, the Jesus who was called Christ.

One of the things I like about Christmas is getting all the pictures in the mail from family and friends. Even if I don’t hear from these friends all year, it is fun to get a card and see a picture of their family, see how old their kids are getting, be reminded of their presence in my life. And the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel shows us that family is a part of the original Christmas story as well. Continue reading