Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's about truth, not fact....


Lots to talk to Martin about. Jon D and his desire to find a collaborative partner from within the West-Park circle. The artist Angelo and what he could bring to West-Park. And one last time, can we come up with an actual plan that would actually allow us to move forward?

Stephen and I meet to talk about what kind of print/promotional materials we’re going to need for our upcoming schedule of  events in May. And how to use what’s happening to build on, not just be an isolated great production.

Anna comes by around  noon with a piping  hot pizza with intriguing toppings. Her effort to give to sustain us, keep us going.  The warmth of the pizza gives off positive energy . And we love that she brought this especially for us.

Almost at random, a representative of a French  modern dance company, Rioult, walks in . I know the church  is no longer functioning...she says.And I’m all,  hold on  wait a minute.... And then she wants a complete  tour, which Stephen gives. There’s real interest. They could be part of a winning combination . But I need real interest, not just  another good idea an good will, now. 

RL ducks in and say All I want to say is, hello. Goodbye. Hello. Goodbye. And then he’s gone.

Rachelle, thanks to Danielle's grace,  is sorting out her stuff at the back of the church. I’m trying to be open again, to see the world as if through her eyes. Outside eyes would see her as an eccentrically dressed bag lady with an suv shopping  cart. When she feel she that her inviting  people  would get them to walk in, the exact oppsite  is more likely. It’s so hard to bear. She still sees herself as a teacher,a role model for young women, a mentor. This is hard.

Tonight is our final session in the study of what the gospels have to say about the resurrection. We’re looking at John. Undeniably this is  what John R calls mystical. In a different league than the so-called synoptic gospels. We’ve got two full chapters of risen Jesus to deal with.

In chapter 20:
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Stone already rolled away.
  • Peter and the other disciple running to see what had happened
  • The other disciple believed
  • That whole section that I already preached about, where Mary, weeping at her loss, thinks the risen jesus is the gardner until she hears her name as only be would say it
  • The idea that she had been a student, beyond anything  else
  • How she wants to hold on to him
  • How even though they’ve heard all these stoeies, they’re still inside with the doors locked, afraid if resurrection
  • The gift of the Holy Spirt, John’s pentecost. To the ned of going out to do what Jesus had done, forgiving, healing, casting  out demons. 
  • Anna is right to see how this story underigrds the hierarchical self-understanding of the Roman Catholic church and I do my best to explain apostolic succession (Am I in that line or not?)
  • Peter as the keeper of the keys, the one who sits outside heaven, the bouncer, the one who lets us in , or not. 
  • The doubting Thomas incident. Jesus risen but with wounds. He needs to see. Blessed those who believe without seeing , like us. 
  • Perhaps a polemic between John and Thomas. His gospel got left out.
  • All the signs not written  in this book. Wish I could read those stories. 
  • My favorite resurrections story, breakfast on the beach. The smell of the sea air. Of fresh fish broiling  on the grill.
  • Even given what they’ve heard, they’ve given up. Gone back to their original jobs. Like before they ever met Jesus. And not  doing  very well at it.
  • Catch 53 fish.Jerome said the  zoologists of the day identified 153 different kinds of fish. So they caught fish of evey kind. The story to indicate that the Jesus path is for everyone. All kinds of people. Every kind of fish.
  • Peter needs to affirm his love for Jesus three tines to cancel out his three denials. 
  • It doesn’t come across in English, but Jesus keeps asking Peter  for agape and Peter keeps offering philios. (Self -sacroficing versus brotherly/sisterly love)
  • The whole contrast betowen the one Jesus loved and Peter. That one, theoretically the author, draws the assignment of caring for Jesus’ mother. It's Peter who beomes the founder of the church. Perhaps because he was such a volatile erratic person, he neeeded the responsibility.

I explain the whole Cosmic Christ notion in John. Preexistent, cosmic Jesus comes down for awhile then  goes back up, A late developed  theology on the one hand but the most intimate interpersonal relationships, with Mary and John, on the other. This John relationship unique in scrioture. The possibility of a proto- John that came first  then is incorporated into a later John. The evidence for that argument based on existential knowledge of the first century no one else picked  up on.

But in the end what difference does it make?
Different stories for different minds, different ears, different hearts. I share  my thoughts about fact versus truth. The two are not the same. The Bible is about truth, not fact. Proof is in the feeding of the sheep, nothng else.

Jay and Stephen and I off for playoff basketball (Nets again) and all you can eat rib tips and chicken wings at  Brother Jimmies. The Nets should not have gone back to white  uniforms.They lost to the Bulls. 

The new late night  community gathered on the steps.... More to come....

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