Monday, January 27, 2014

Zebedee in the boat. Alone.


Back to church after a day long retreat at Stony Point with Presbytery’s Committee on Witness to Society and the World. (CWSW). I can never remember that. It’s part of the work when money has disappeared and structures crumbling how to start all over building from the grass roots up. Stony Point’s Rick right there, helping us work it through. It's the same story everywhere in the church.

Berik and Leila have a new opening upstairs. With a live band. These openings have become anticipated events among a certain circle. 

Getting  few things set for tomorrow. Too tired and beat to join RL for awhile.


The bitter cold continues. Joe et al have to be moved on. (Just call 911…)
Deacon James shows up early to help set up. Dion quickly creating our circle of chairs. Jeremy warming up, getting ready.

We  start with How Firm a Foundation with a good solid beat and rootsy feel. And with Psalm 27, we do the Lord is my light which always has a good roll to it. Great for jazz improv over, if only Andre were here.

Young couple comes in, sits in the pews awhile. Leaves. Sometimes coming up front is in intimidating. But if they’d only stay for the reflection…
The first reading is ISAIAH 9:1-4. OK, so it’s the season of Epiphany. Light again. I get it. So enough with 2   The people who walked in darkness 
have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined….this was the first reading for midnight mass on Christmas Eve. But the context is different. Now it’s a metaphor, not for the birth, but the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

People wonder abut the day of Midian. And while we are talking, Stephen looks it up. Somehow I’d forgotten the wonderful story with Gideon. God wanting only those who lapped water like dogs. The torches in jars. The trumpets..(Judges 7 and 8….)

People are clear…they’re looking for upbeat, positive passages during this winter season. The weather is cold enough.

The SECOND READING( 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-18) speaks of a church divided. Not over theology or doctrine  or ideas but over personalities.  When you read Paul's  personal words re his baptisms, 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) You just know that has to be authentic, never intended to be read as scripture 2000 plus years later.

Also good to note that Chloe was clearly a female head of household with money. Perhaps even the sponsor/host of the church.

Paul calls us back from what divides us, to what is central.  As Dion says that’s all it is, to remember why we are here, for God, and for each other. The rest doesn’t matter.

Finally, the  GOSPEL,  MATTHEW 4:12-23. The beginning of Jesus’ministry. We note that in this gospel, Jesus waits until John’s ministry has ended before launching his own. And that he begins pretty much continuing John’s message, 17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.
 We note that he had made a strategic retreat to Capernaum to avoid Herod. And that we’e got prophecy fulfillment again.
*Did Jesus go this route because he knew people would connect to what  they knew?
*Did he actually seek to fulfill prophecy?
*Did he even have a choice?

And we’re fascinated in his calling  of the fishers to make them fishers of men, as the King James says. And we stop to recognize that ti's is the story of ordinary people, in the midst if ordinary lives, called out to do extraordinary things. Everyday people, as Sly Stone once sang….

We wonder how they could leave…immediately…until I recall that in Occupy I knew a number of people who had waked away form jobs, families, lives because they believed it was a kairos moment, a moment to decide.

Marsha as always is wishing the Bible gave us more details. What exactly is it we are supposed to do?

And we also note that they were mending their nets and that my colleague Heidi had done a whole sermon on mending  their nets. Old needs people who can fix things. Take what we have, tears, holes and all, and make it work…

Parenthetically, as Jesus preaches good news, I mention  that the word, evangelium, gospel, good news…had political import. Usually with news of military victories. But also to announce tax relief, the end of a tax. For an occupied people, that would be good news.

Someone asks why when Jesus heals  it’s always …every disease and every sickness among the people….No wonder people followed.

In the end we’re left with Zebedee in the boat. Why didn’t he go? Too old? How does he feel about his boys leaving? Happy? Sad? Abandoned? Stunned? What is going on in that boat with Zebedee alone? We’ll continue to reflection that…

We finish with the beautiful Tu has venido la orilla, one of the favorite songs of our latin members.

Session confirms Stephen as our commissioner for the next Presbytery meeting. To speak to our overture about drug policy and the devastating and unfair affect of current drug laws on the poor and people of color.

Jamie will come with me to work on my apartment . Step by step.

Call from RL. The boiler's off. Head back to he church. Nothing  we do works. This  is not good. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey meh, I've been following your blog for almost 6 months now without leaving any comment so I decided to quickly say hi today.
    Regards, Daniel from