Don’t Make Jesus the Idol

11 Nov

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 24 After Pentecost 11 November 2012

Don’t Make Jesus the Idol

There are some days when I wrestle with the Scriptures and other days when the scriptures wrestle with me.  I suppose that’s why they are called the Living Word.

Journal: Saturday, 03 November 2012          6:38 pm           All day long my prayers have been encouraging God in His blowing His Shofar [ram’s horn.]  I’ve prayed for the encouragement of the angels blowing their shofars.  I’ve asked Heaven to keep blowing.  Any time a thought came up that could make me sad, I prayed for God to keep blowing His shofar.  Blow the Shofar!!  Blow, baby, blow!  It’s been an all-day, on-going prayer.  It has to be from the Holy Spirit because the prayer has lasted all day.  I could not sustain this of my own efforts.  The prayer has kept me anchored, at peace, and aware of God’s grace surrounding me.

7:55 pm           Lord, may Your trumpet blast fill the void in us that continues working like a black hole with a fierce gravitational pull.  God, please reverse the energy by Your Light and power.  Amen.

Journal: Sunday, 04 November 2012            There is a dark energy looming.  How do I describe it?  It’s not pessimism.  It’s not emotional.  It’s impersonal.  It is a dark and ominous energy. 

11 am There is a phrase that has been floating and drifting around in my brain-cage for the last two days: “Don’t make Jesus the idol.”  I wrote about this in a Reflection once.  …

[Later I went back and looked it up: 14 February 2010, Transfiguration Sunday.  Isn’t that amazing!  What a beautiful message of love on that Valentine’s Day.  God is such a romantic!  I had said,

 “…Break the golden calf of DOCTRINE.  Christ’s desire is to draw His Church to Himself (Luke 13:34, Ephesians 4:3-6).”

And: “In order to be ready for Christ’s return, we must first rid ourselves of the preconceptions we have about His return.”

And: “Look at the strength we have when we come together with our gifts!”

And: “If each denomination in the Church and each individual church put down their “I’m right” spear and put on the crown of humility, then we would see what each other is good at.  We would see each other’s strengths within the inspiration that founded each denomination in the first place.”]

I had also said, in effect, that the Church had turned Jesus into an idol [Reflection for Thanksgiving Day 2010], although I didn’t use that exact phrase.  I still think this is true.  In fact, now I wonder if this is the Truth that is creating the dark, negative energy of the Abyss.  If Jesus is the idol, then the idol blocks the Light from revealing His authentic Self in full radiance, because we can only see the image and not the real Person of the Trinity.

Journal: Still Sunday, November 04, 2012     8:43 pm           I spent the afternoon in the public library.  It took me awhile to decompress afterward.  There is a STRONG “iron” energy there.  It is an institutional energy.  It is not evil but it is very heavy.  And it is very thick.  I was telling God on the drive back to my solitude spot this afternoon that the energy created a feeling in me (both spiritually and physically) of being in heavy water.  Like in a dream, I could breathe, but had to really concentrate.  And I was so terribly thirsty!  So parched!  I was drinking water but could not get hydrated.  This experience was like drinking lots of water and never having my thirst quenched.  This energy was way more than just because the building was air conditioned.  It sucked the moisture out of my spirit even more than out of my body, and both my body and spirit were left feeling painfully puckered, as if I had taken some mineral or spice that made my lips, cheeks, eyes, ears, and eyebrows all curl in on itself and tuck into the back of my skull.  How can I describe the thickness of air?  I could move, but I had to move slowly and deliberately.  Freedom was stifled.  I could almost “hear” the Spanish tile and modern rebar “speaking” through  the library building itself saying, “Shut up!  I’m saving your body’s life!” Isn’t that what the cancer radiation machine, “Apollo,” at the hospital had also “said”?  Mom had breast cancer.  Did the machine ‘save her life’?  Maybe.  I donno.  The iron, the tone, the message, the energy was so similar to “Apollo”!  And I was in the library to save my body’s life from the scorching, nuclear-like heat outside.  The result was that after my stint at the library, and even now four hours later, I am keenly aware of a feeling in the region of my guts and chest of being driven as if I was on a racing Pony Express horse.  Maybe it is more like an “iron horse.”  Wasn’t that what they used to call trains?  Am I sensing a “train wreck” up ahead?  I’m not going to entertain that.  I do know that this is a driving force.  It is not a feeling of “being chased by dogs.” It is a dark and ominous energy.  It did not bring doom, however.  I remember trying to ask this “Iron Horse” what it was doing and what it wanted.  I think it is too impersonal to care what I ask.  So, I am asking God to take the reins, to help me relax into Him, and to lead this “horse.”  I hate this driving energy!  It’s pounding and relentless.  It makes my body tense all over.  My psyche wants to shout: “Brace for impact!”  I’m jumpy but there are less and less loud sounds to cause a startle reflex within me.  My physical environment is quieter in this juxtaposition from earlier in the year (answer to prayer!), but now my own spirit is making up for the tension which heretofore the environment had supplied.  Please, God, nip this in the bud (or butt!)  Please restore the balance of YOUR kingdom!  Please do not allow everything to just get flipped on its exact opposite head yet one more time just for us to repeat another same old cycle!  Please intervene with Your grace and mercy!  Breathe in Your soothing Holy Spirit to set things right to Your way.  Amen.

Journal: From entry entitled “Blowing the Shofar:” Monday, 05 November 2012     11:08 am  

This morning while I was parked in my solitude spot I got a quick whiff of cedar.  This is the third time since Saturday that I’ve smelled it out of the blue.  It smelled wonderful!  Now, since that cedar scent keeps reappearing out of the blue with no humans (or cedar trees) around, I blurted out to God, “Did You just open the Ark of the Covenant?”  I could almost hear Him giggle.  It was like I “caught” Him doing something, but He was pleased to be “caught.”

God says not to worry.  I’m trying not to.  I’m begging Him for relief.

The Archangel Michael said again, “I’ve got the Books covered.”  Since he’s got them covered then I have to make sure on my end that my journals are in order and up to date.  The mystical stuff is important (even though it has been the mystical stuff that has caused the death of most martyrs.)

Monday, 05 November 2012 12:15 pm         I fell asleep and had a quick dream.  I looked down and in my hands was a small but very intricately-made, very old, ancient and ornate silver chalice.  In the bottom of the chalice was a spot of red wine.  (Literally a spot.)  The wine had already been consumed.  I looked at the empty chalice in my hands.  Had I just drunk the wine to its last drop?  I woke up. 

Journal: From Entry entitled “Falling Idols:”    Tuesday, November 06, 2012            12:33 pm

On the Elijah List this morning, Prophet Theresa Phillips had said that Jesus is bringing back the anointing.[1]  She wrote:

“He [Christ] went on to share that each office of the five-fold is about to be granted access to a fresh peace for the sake of the people: “This peace will bring many toward the healing from abusive and misguided leaders. Each officer holding the office will require peace to get the job done, for troubled times are upon the Church. I [Christ] am sending that peace even now. Man is betraying man. Betrayal and sabotage are amongst the leaders of the earth. I am about to give an ABRUPT intervention for ministers who have been abused by sheep and by media. I am a rescuer, not a divider. Divisions will be stopped.”

Yes, Lord!  Bring it on!!  There is a time for division as You have been separating the wheat from the chaff.  But if the wheat on the threshing floor continues to be sifted and sifted, then the good grain is pummeled to dust, and all benefits and nutritional value of the kernel is ground to nothingness and is of no use to anyone.  It can then only be swept up and tossed away along with the chaff and the dirt on the threshing floor.  Lord, please stop the divisions!  Bring Your wholeness!  Bring Your spiritual nutrition.  Please feed back to us Your anointing and break this demonic loop of worshiping our idols as we falsely expect them to rescue us from the darkness they have created while we were unaware.  Shed Your Light of Truth where Truth has been neglected.  Help us to talk about and engage in Your kingdom, so that Your Light will shine ever more brightly.

Isaiah 10:27 (KJ21)     And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Journal: From Entry entitled “What Happened?”       Tuesday, November 06, 2012           

Today is Election Day.  What (not just who) are the people electing?  Have they lowered Jesus Christ Himself into being just another idol?  Is that what is actually creating the Abyss?  Is this what has been creating this dark, ugly, iron horse-like, pounding energy?  Is this energy the prince of darkness?

Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

Reflecting: The Church has had such high expectations of Jesus Messiah’s Second Coming and returning in the clouds (Mk 13:26) that she has turned “Messiah” into an idol as an external Deliverer, a Rescuer, a stone idol, a “golden calf,” a stone (Dan 2:34) whizzing from the outer orbits of the cosmos to dash the cowardly and the evil to smithereens like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer (v 35), where she doesn’t have to engage with our Living God, here and now.  According to the author of Hebrews:

Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Since God is living and alive and Christ already bore the sins of many, then who are we to turn Him into a stone idol?  A form hanging from a crucifix?  What had started off as a reminder of His incredible sacrifice for us, morphed into an image of an idol and we kept Him there on the cross, even after Martin Luther took Him down off the Crucifix during the Reformation and gave us the naked, empty cross to remind us that He is risen!  So now, the whole Church-as-Body has a “split personality” of both keeping Him on the cross and waiting eagerly for Him to return.  If He’s still pegged on the cross in our hearts, then how can we “see” Him alive when He returns?  We are like the widow with two pennies giving all she had into the Temple Treasury with Jesus sitting there in the Temple Courtyard.  (Mark 12:41-44)  She gave everything she had.  She didn’t know Jesus saw what she did and the big heart with which she gave.  We are like her.  We are also like the rich contributors who give out of their abundance. (v 44)  It doesn’t cost us much.  Jesus sees that, too.  He sees both sides to every coin.  (And the filler stuff in the middle, too.)

What have we done with our contributions?  Are we tarrying so God is tarrying?  Are we impatient for His return, so we think God is impatient with us?  What spirit is stirring?  It was a spirit of rebellion that enticed the Israelites to become impatient when Moses seemed to tarry so long (forty days and nights on Mount Sinai (Ex 24:18)) because he was hanging out with God on the mountain.  It was a spirit of rebellion that led them to creating the golden calf in Moses’ absence. (Ex 32:1)  In a parallel, Jesus ascended to God forty days after His crucifixion and resurrection.

Acts 1:After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

The good news is that while waiting during those forty days, the disciples spoke about the Kingdom of God; they conversed and discussed while they were waiting for the anointing of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s ascension.  That was then, this is now.  The Church-as-Culture [aka “Club Church”] still really likes her gold and the modern-day version of our contemporary “Golden Calf” and she still doesn’t talk much about the Kingdom of God.  The Church-as-Institution speaks about herself and her fears because that is what she knows.  The Church can’t risk giving everything she has and stepping beyond into what she doesn’t know.  That would be too scary.  So the Institution just keeps filling her own jars of “meal” and “oil” without fail until the Day that the Lord sends “rain” on the earth.  (1 Kings 17:14, 16)  As long as the Institution is in control of the Idol, then the people are at the mercy of the Institution.  And the Institution won’t talk about it.

A spirit of rebellion is part of human nature.  We can rebel against God or we can rebel against the spirit of rebellion and take a stand.  We humans are easily led astray by our very natures, which we take great pains to preserve!  After all, Jesus did tell us to be on our guard!  (Mt 16:6) And to be aware that no one would lead us astray. (Mk 13:5)  And so we must.  We must guard our hearts, minds, and spirits against deception and the enemy of men’s souls.  Spirits are real.  AND/BUT we don’t have to guard ourselves against our Lover! 

Journal: From entry entitled “Blowing the Shofar:” 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012       8:20 am   For a long time, maybe months, I have felt like I have just been in reporter-mode.  I have felt like an automaton repeating cycles over and over through body then mind then spirit: now repeat.  And again.  Separate this time.  Now come together.  Individual that time.  Pirouette.  And now lift that leg.  Point that toe.  Lift the torso.  Raise the shoulders and head.  Now glide… One, two, three.  One, two, three…  Maybe there is no difference between the radiation machine Apollo, the Iron Horse energy “Apollo,” the Apollo spacecraft, and the Greek god of Apollo, the sun god.  God said in Revelation 9:2 that the sun would be darkened, and there is no denying that we are all in a time of grave spiritual darkness.

Rev 9:When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

And there are so many other passages that address this, too!  (Isa 13:10, Ez 32:7, Joel 2:10, 31 and Joel 3:15, Amos 8:9, Micah 3:8, Mt 24:29, Mk 13:24)  Yahweh did say not to have any idols before Him.  Can’t we just go play on the playground?  And then go home?  Is there no sanctuary anywhere?  Both home and playground are supposed to be part of the dance. 

Journal: From entry entitled “Falling Idols:” 

Wednesday, 07 November 2012        12:15 pm

Last night I was blessed with being parked in my solitude spot. (I do not always have the place to myself.)  I think it was around 7:30 pm and it was already dark.  I heard this growing rumbling sound.  At first I thought it was a large jet (or two) flying overhead.  But the sound continued.  It must have lasted for ten minutes.  It was deep and resonant.  The weirdest part was that the large sound actually created an indigo blue aura within my being.  I can’t remember this happening before.  It was unmistakable how the sound went together with the blue aura.  I opened my eyes to see if it was outside of me as well as inside of me.  No.  The air was not this deep vibrating blue outside of me right then.  I closed my eyes again.  As long as the rumble persisted in the air waves, the indigo blue aura persisted within me.  For a moment I got scared because the sound was so large and powerful.  But God seemed to put His hand on my shoulder to steady me.

Does this tie into what Prophet Jeremy Caris had said this morning on The Elijah List, “…I kept hearing, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”?  I used to hear that same phrase all the time in the beginning of my calling.  It was God’s and my wedding motto.  Is God setting the stage to fulfill what He told Prophet Theresa Phillips?

 “…I am about to give an ABRUPT intervention for ministers who have been abused by sheep and by media. I am a rescuer, not a divider. Divisions will be stopped.”

Journal: From the “Naked Timeline:”

Thursday, 8 November 2012 [Timeless]  The spiritual Silence is crushing.  The silence is painful.

[“Gethsemane”] Thursday, Nov 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM “owie.  the silence hurts.  see my owie.”

[“Gethsemane”] Thursday, 8 November 2012, 17:35 ET      BBC Announces: “Justin Welby set to become new Archbishop of Canterbury” after becoming a bishop only a year ago. [2]   (This sounds like one of God’s “suddenlies” that He occasionally does.  This feels not only important but prophetic.  What are You up to, God?) 

[Another “Good”?] Friday, November 09, 2012         9 am  I thanked Prophet Catherine Brown for her word posted on the Elijah List this morning: “The Harvest Anointing.”  She said, “God sometimes asks us to do unusual or strange things, and whilst we must avoid unnecessary drama or drawing attention to one’s self, we must be earnest to flow with the Holy Spirit and obey His instructions.”

Journal: From entry entitled “Potential Crucified:”     [Sabbath rest at the beach];

[Golgotha-like] Friday, 09 November 2012    1:51 pm           We went from nuclear-like radiation heat earlier in the week to rain yesterday to crisp air, icy winds, frothy, teal-colored seas, and glorious storm clouds growing and billowing over the mountains today.  (Don’t think “Marshmallow Man” from “Ghostbusters;” I dare ya!)  All joking aside, I have been marveling at God and really wondering what He is up to.  When Boaz was winnowing barley at night at the threshing floor (Ruth 3:2), what time/season of the year was it?  When is barley harvested?  I just looked in my NIV Bible notes and it says April and May (and wheat a few weeks later; [NIV p 363]) Still sticking with the theme of seasons, Daniel talks about the rock cut out but not by human hands (Dan 2:34), and how this rock smashes Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue and the stone breaks it to pieces like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer (v 35).  Jesus said to pray that the ‘abomination that causes desolation standing where it does not belong’ will not take place in winter (Mk 13:18).  We are now in the fall, which comes before winter, so I pray NOW.

Ya’know God, I’ve been praying down idols all week.  There is one thing I have never laid on Your altar.  It hadn’t occurred to me before.  It is the pest of Potential.  Potential has always pushed me forward with Hope.  In my heart-mind the two (Hope and Potential) were always inextricably linked.  You won’t take Hope and accept it on the altar; I’ve asked.  But the Church cannot live up to her potential.  I see that now.  I lay Potential at Your feet for You to “crucify,” so that You can breathe Your grace into her and resurrect her from her own ashes by Your mercy.  This is only something You can do, Lord.

One of the occupational hazards of my calling is that I get the pretty picture, the Potential of how You see things, Lord.  Then I get my heart repeatedly broken from doing what You tell me to do and say.  You’ve never stopped showing me the Potential in the pretty pictures.  On the human level, none of us can live up to Your picture.  I’m sorry, God.  Please forgive us.  We do love You.  We bow to Your Kingship for only You are worthy of worship.  On a personal level I am sorry that I inadvertently made the Potential of the Church an idol.  I didn’t even realize I had done that.  Forgive me, Lord.  Your Church is Your Body in the flesh, and we want to be imitators of You.  Somehow the image got distorted.  The image of the Church took on Your flesh and became an idol.  Now I understand why You said, “Do not make Jesus an idol.”  It’s the idol that had blocked me from seeing the real You, Jesus Christ, for a time.  What a strange journey this is.

Journal: Continued from entry entitled “Potential Crucified:” 

[Holy] Saturday, 10 November 2012 11:18 am        

I may not have physical or intellectual sanctuary today, but my emotions and soul have sanctuary in the silence, since I laid the Church’s and my Potential on the altar.  I am reading Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master,[3] and in his epilogue to his monastic journal, the Sign of Jonas (1953) he describes the reproachful silence, and I am grateful for a soul companion on my journey today:

“…The house is like a sick person who has recovered.  This is the Gethsemani that I entered, and whose existence I had almost forgotten.  …The very silence is a reproach.  The emptiness itself is my most terrible question.

If I have broken this silence, and if I have been to blame for talking so much about this emptiness that it came to be filled with people, who am I to praise the silence any more?  Who am I to publicize this emptiness? …

In this age of crowds in which I have determined to be solitary, perhaps the greatest sin would be to lament the presence of people on the threshold of my solitude.  Can I be so blind as to ignore that solitude itself is their greatest need?  And yet if they rush in upon the desert in thousands, how shall they be alone?  What went they out into the desert to see?  Whom did I myself come here to find but You, O Christ, Who have compassion on the multitudes?

Nevertheless, Your compassion singles out and separates the one on whom Your mercy falls, and sets him apart from the multitudes even though You leave him in the midst of the multitudes…” [p 115]

And the silence of the multitudes of the Church continues with me and my journey.  What a cruel directive God gave me at the beginning of my calling to “Worship Him” and to “Share the Journey.”  Whom do I share it with?  I am crucified with Christ.

I pick up Thomas Merton again,

“… But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.  Eternity is in the present.  Eternity is in the palm of the hand.  Eternity is a seed of fire, whose sudden roots break barriers that keep my heart from being an abyss.

The things of Time are in connivance with eternity.  The shadows serve You.  The beasts sing to You before they pass away.  The solid hills shall vanish like a worn-out garment.  All things change, and die and disappear.  Questions arrive, assume their actuality, and also disappear.  In this hour I shall cease to ask them, and silence shall be my answer.  The world that Your love created, that the heat has distorted, and that my mind is always misinterpreting, shall cease to interfere with our voices.

Minds which are separated pretend to blend in to one another’s language.  The marriage of souls in concepts is mostly an illusion.  Thought which travel outward bring back reports of You from outward things: but a dialogue with You, uttered through the world, always ends by being a dialogue with my own reflection in the stream of time.  With You there is no dialogue unless You choose a mountain and circle it with cloud and print Your words in fire upon the mind of Moses.  What was delivered to Moses on tables of stone, as the fruit of lightning and thunder, is now more thoroughly born in our own souls as quietly as the breath of our own being.

The hand lies open.  The heart is dumb.  The soul that held my substance together, like a hard gem in the hollow of my own power, will one day totally give in. 

Although I see the stars, I no longer pretend to know them.  Although I have walked in those woods, how can I claim to love them?  One by one I shall forget the names of individual things.

You, Who sleep in my breast, are not met with words, but in the emergence of life within life and of wisdom within wisdom.  You are found in communion: Thou in me and I in Thee and Thou in them and they in me: dispossession within dispossession, dispassion within dispassion, emptiness within emptiness, freedom within freedom.  I am alone.  Thou art alone.  The Father and I are One.” [p 118-119]

[Holy Saturday] 5:36 pm  Such is it today with me.  I am alone.  God is alone.  We are alone in our oneness.  Potential has no substance.  I have held it like a hard gem in the hollow of my own hand, of my own power, and it has totally given in today, just as Merton had said would happen.

 “The hand lies open.  The heart is dumb.  The soul that held my substance together, like a hard gem in the hollow of my own power, will one day totally give in.”

Today is that day.  I cannot complete the directives God gave me with my calling to “share the journey,” any more than Francis of Assisi could fulfill his calling when Jesus told him to “repair My Church.”  Just as Francis thought God was being literal and tried to repair His church, so I thought God meant I was to “share the journey.”  But in this cavern of Deathly Silence there is no one left to share it with.  It is up to God to take it from here.  So now Silence is my companion.  And Jeremiah is my comforter.  (Jeremiah 5:30-31; 6:10; 11:19; 15:19-20

[“…Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”])

Prayer: Lord Jesus, King Jesus, speak to Your people with Your own Voice for You are alive in majesty and Truth.  No idol can speak for You, and neither can Your servant.  I do not serve idols.  I serve my Living God.  You must declare Your own sovereignty, O Lord.

 

24 After Pentecost                  11 November 2012                             Gospel: Mark 12:38-44

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
3:1 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you.

3:2 Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.

3:3 Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

3:4 When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.”

3:5 She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son.

4:14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel!

4:15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

4:16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse.

4:17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Psalm 127
127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

127:3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.

127:5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

1 Kings 17:8-16
17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,

17:9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”

17:10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.”

17:11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

17:12 But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

17:13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.

17:14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth.”

17:15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days.

17:16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

Psalm 146
146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!

146:2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

146:4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.

146:5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,

146:6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

146:7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;

146:8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.

146:9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

146:10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!

Hebrews 9:24-28
9:24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

9:25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own;

9:26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

9:27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,

9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 12:38-44
12:38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,

12:39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets!

12:40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

12:41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.

12:42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.

12:43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.

12:44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”


[1] Theresa Phillips: “The Restoration of the Five-Fold Ministry;” Elijah List: Tue, Nov 6, 2012

[3] Lawrence S. Cunningham, ed.; Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master, The Essential Writings; NY: Paulist Press, 1992, p 115

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