Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Even if we're broke, we can still respond


The boiler is back on!  The dejavu of our cold year was only a brief interlude...Teddy describes what was wrong, the process of getting  it back on. etc., but I’m only glad that I don’t have to worry about it anymore...

Even though I know that Nayelli has had a devastating experience with the hurricane, I make it clear to Martin and Mariola that we still need to keep moving forward with our agreement. This must be the fourth iteration of the studio floor being worked on.

RL’s studio project continues on. Marc is having trouble working with the sound of the boiler. As soon as it’s fired up, that should die down. He’s got a decent recording of Shannon Beck’s house concert from Saturday night including a sing along on I shall be released..only wish my harmonies were stronger...

I’m very moved when Stefanie from Capital Hall brings clothing and other items donated from the SRO’s residents for hurricane relief. Tim who’s been here with a previous music group is back exploring the possibilities of his own concert.

Jamie comes by with her car. Teddy helps us load up the blankets and survival kits we prepared yesterday and we deliver them to the collection center at the JCC. They are especially excited to receive clean blankets and sanitary items we were able to put together in addition to the survival kits.

Marsha is meeting in the sanctuary with representatives from Manhattan Together’s (our local Industrial Areas Foundation community organizing group) congregations for a new effort to recruit and train people as home health aides. It’s part of the commitment to make our neighborhood more senior friendly.... Our growing number of older adults are yet another segment of our hidden populations who don’t fit our gentrified image...

Hugo has delivered food again and our Bible Study group gathers in McAlpin  to explore the end of the 10th chapter of Mark, the story of Blind Bartimaeus.

We note:
  • It takes place in Jericho, an oasis and the last stop on a journey from the north to Jerusalem. After this, Jesus is headed inexorably to Jerusalem.
  • His name means son of the unclean, his blindness would be considered a sign of spiritual infirmity
  • Once again, the disciples seek to keep someone away from Jesus just like they did the children
  • This is the first time in the gospel that Jesus is referred to as son of David, an affirmation of his legitimacy
  • When Jesus calls him forward, Bartimaeus throws down his cloak, the means of survival for a beggar. Before he has received anything, he’s willing to leave all he has behind. This is in contrast to the rich young ruler who couldn’t give up his possessions. 
  • Jesus asks him, what would you have me do for you, just as he asked James and John. Instead of asking to be special on the right or left hand of Jesus, Bartimaeus asks to regain his sight. 
  • The word for sight also means vision, not only go see things but to see the truth ...
  • Bartimaeus demonstration of faith is not a confession, ie, words, but an action, getting up and coming to Jesus
  • For us, following Jesus is not confesio, but imatatio...not doctrinal affirmation but concrete action...
  • In contrast to previous healing stories, this healed one does not go on about his own way but instead chooses to follow Jesus
  • This is yet another reample of last shall be first...
  • This is the last healing story in Mark. We’re headed into a new narrative now, ready to enter into Jerusalem.
Marsha joins us when her IAF group is finished. Lily, Samantha and Mandy arrive to add new warm scarves to the packages they have already made. They are relentess in their efforts to respond to Sandy. For me, this is especially moving given their own experiences and struggles with unemployment and other economic issues. Like I said to Teddy, even if we’re broke, we can still  respond. 

(Bible study notes again are informed by Ched Meyers’s Binding the Strongman...)

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