Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The rest of Monday


The day begins with a conversation with Martin on the workshop he held at the church over the weekend. Introducing choreography to beginners, theater skills and flamenco as a means to expression. You know,we all have genius, he says, a look of excitement on his face. I share with him what appear to be looming attorney issues, and he’s immediately hooking me up with an attorney friend. 

I’m starting the day overwhelmed and sanguine about the worlds of real estate and law and the court system...

But then around 2 pm, the first news about Boston comes onto my computer screen. And everything else shrinks away. But everything  else continues. Cara is outside sweeping. Stephen is plugging away on the concert contract. I go outside. 

The Frog & Peach theatre company is in the house rehearsing Measure for Measure. They’re gathered outside, talking Boston. Lynnea at first thinks it was just a couple of overextended runners who died. But her cast fills her in and her face drops. Before they head back in, I tell them M for M has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I remember the Three Rivers Shakespeare production directed by the sui generis Israeli Yossi Yzraely. Angelo comes on stage, sees the word fuck scrawled onto the wall and with a piece of chalk, turns it into book.  The Lower Eastside Shakespeare in the Parking Lot played it set in New Orleans. Lynnea of course has her own vision.

Back in the office, Rachelle has come in and is off on a monologue. All the ways she could help the church if only we allowed her. All the money she could raise. Why don’t we rent her space? Why haven’t we this? Why haven’t we that? Why can’t we be like SPSA? All we’d need to do is just...Finally Danielle has had enough. Says she’s offended by the implication that we’re just not doing it right, we’re only a paid staff of two.She wants to continue the conversation, but Danielle says, Now is not a good time for that conversation...

I step outside, talk with Cara and Stephen. Suggest that Rachelle should be sent to Guantanamo. Everyone  would confess immediately.Her non-stop monologue is like a dentist drill into the brain. I have to get out. 

At the Gate, the TV is showing a seemingly  never ending  loop of the Boston Marathon finish line as the explosion takes place scattering the runners. Over and over like the second plane loop on 9-11.

                * * * * 
Time out for Bible Study:

I’m wishing no one shows up for Bible Study but I've got three people anxiously waiting. An F&P actress is rehearsing a original song for the play with a pianist.

When they finish, we begin. Luke this week. What do we find?
  • Stone already rolled away. (Like Mark, but not Matthew)
  • Empty tomb, no body.
  • Two men in dazzling white, not one young boy (Mark) or one angel (Luke)
  • Don’t look for the living among the dead....
  • In this version, the women go back and tell the disciples, but no on believes them. (Idle tale is too gentle for the scatological Greek...almost literally bull shit...)
  • Peter races and runs and finds the empty tomb
  • Jesus first actual appearance is on the road to Bethany with previously unknown Cleopas and friend. And they don’t recognize him. 
  • They had hoped that he would  redeem Israel, as in pay off their debt, as in bring them back for captivity. Ancient Leviticus practice turned into metaphor. 
  • Jesus explains himself in terms of the law (first five books of the Bible) and the prophets, IE, the whole of Hebrew scripture.
  • They invite him for dinner. He stays and breaks bread with them. And in the breaking of bread, they know him.  A familiar act of intimacy... breaking bread together. In the Presbyterian Worship Book of the 1970's,  this passage became  the intro to every Eucharist, rooting it post-resurrection instead of pre-crucifixion last supper. 
  • The first group he appears to are not the apostles.
  • They say he appeared to Simon (when exactly? Not in the scripture story...)
  • And after their eyes were opened, he vanishes
  • Finally appears to the disciples. And once again, it is his wounds that identify him. 
  • And he asks for food...broiled show he is truly alive (In Mark and Matthew, Jesus has been raised, in Luke he has risen, no other agency needed...) This is to make clear that it is not a ghost they are dealing with here.
  • That their minds had to be opened to understand the scriptures means that it takes divine intervention to be able to see proof of prediction in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is not self -evident. It's  isogesis, from  belief working backwards into scripture, not reading exegetically, from scripture forward.
  • For the first time he defines his mission as related to the forgiveness of sins. 
  • And it is to be proclaimed to all nations
  • He tells them to stay put until the Holy Spirit comes
  • Volume 1 ends with the ascension. The story will continue in Acts. 

Although Luke has the most explicit language about the poor in the gospels, he also moderates the critique of empire. And whereas Mark has the temple allied with the powers, in Like the disciples are in the temple continually blessing God. They continue to live their lives as practicing  faithful Temple related Jews. Their Christian lives are lived  out in table fellowship in the privacy of homes.

We wrestle with the differences in these stories. of course they are literary creations, not intended as documentaries. Still.....maybe it's a bit like shifting to focus of a lens. What comes into view, what is seen, depends on what you are focusing on. The rest remains, indistinct, unclear....

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