Today is Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
“I have always found that actively loving saves one from a morbid preoccupation with the shortcomings of society.” ― Alan Paton
Myrmidon – a person who executes without question or scruple a master’s commands.
Today is Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day. Because why? Because, that’s why!
Both of us have stayed home from work today, and will for the remainder of this week. C really struggled with this, because there are things going on at work that she feels like she needs to be there for, but everyone has told her to take as much time as she needs. I think she finally agreed and decided to stay home the rest of the week. I think that was the right choice, because I really feel that she needs some really good rest.
The funeral for her step-dad will be at 1:30 on Saturday. They will have a rosary/visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 on Friday evening. I’ve never witnessed a rosary before. I’m interested to see how that plays out. My mother will be coming for the funeral. We will go pick her up on Saturday morning and take her back home Saturday evening.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:10
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:18
(From Living the Message)
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Matthew 13:10-13 (The Message)
Jesus was subversive. Take a moment to thank about that. Have you ever considered it? Subversive means, “seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.” While that may not have been Jesus’s primary reason for being on earth, it certainly applied to him.
Everyone called him Rabbi. Rabbis don’t make things happen. They are important, but they aren’t world changers. And when something happened or was said that would draw extraordinary attention to him, Jesus cautioned people not to say anything. He preferred to remain “under the radar,” at least until the time was right.
His favorite form of communication was the parable. Parables are subversive. “Parable sound absolutely ordinary; casual stories about soil and seeds, meals and coins and sheep, bandits and victims, farmers and merchants.” In addition, the vast majority of Jesus’s parables were what we would call “secular.” Only one was set in “church,” and only a couple mention the name of God. When people heard these stories, realizing that they were not about God, and were unthreatening, they would relax. “They walked away perplexed, wondering what they meant, the stories lodged in their imagination. And then, like a time bomb, they would explode in their unprotected hearts.”
“Jesus continually threw odd stories down alongside ordinary lives and walked away without explanation or altar call. (Notice that Jesus never used an altar call.) The word parable literally comes from Greek, para, “alongside,” bole, “thrown.”
It was like planting a seed in the imagination. And parables certainly did not make things easier. There was nothing simple about them. Just note the disciples’ question in the passage quoted above. Parables force us to “exercise our imagination, which if we aren’t careful becomes the exercise of our faith.”
Father, give me a heart to understand Jesus’s parables. I know that there are places where he explains them to his disciples. Help me to understand them with my own faith. I’ve prayed before . . . help me to believe the words of Jesus and put them into practice in my life. All of the words. Not just the ones I like. Give me the faith to understand and practice the ones that make me uncomfortable, as well. Help me to also understand the subversive nature of Jesus and his ministry on earth. If I am to walk as he walked, there must be at least a hint of that subversive nature in me, as well.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)
Grace and peace, friends.