Under the Influence

27 Jan

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 03 After Epiphany on 27 January 2013
Under the Influence
I was skipping along quite nicely, thank you very much, until I asked God, “Are we there yet?” After all, He does say,
“To the one who is victorious and does My will to the end,…” (Rev 2:26)
The end of what? What’s left? Everything else has been done! Lord, excuse me, can I tell You something? All the Churches have met the requirements of Your Word. They are “Acceptable” from what I can see as a bottom feeder mortal on this side of the Divide.
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Father, we are Your children. Each one of the archetypal Seven Churches has fulfilled the law. They got it:
Nehemiah 8:8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
The Scriptures have already been fulfilled in our hearing. (Luke 4:21) All the Churches have overcome, (“overcome” meaning whatever Fear had been “eating their lunch.”) Everyone will benefit from their respective positions in one way or another. All will glorify You, Father. All have done Your will. And as far as I can see, Lord, they have completed Your will to the last dot (Mt 5:18) and the only thing left is the “iota” that they haven’t chosen yet.
Mt 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (ESV)
Doing and Choosing are like the dot and the iota. Doing Your will and choosing Your will are not always in the same current in the Divine Flow. Doing Your will and choosing Your will, can both accomplish Your will, Father. Both doing and choosing are acceptable. And You did say there would be reward.
Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them [the ordinances of the LORD, v 9] there is great reward.

19:12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
“Hidden faults” ties in with motivation and only You, Lord, know the true motivation in a person’s heart. We may see outward manifestations of how motivation is revealed as to what drives a person, but even that can be distorted at times depending on the interpretation. So God, please make us pure, so that our motivations are pure. All is not yet right with the world. During the night on Tuesday (22 January 2013) I was awakened in the middle of the night not from a dream but by a [spiritual] “sound” in my soul that was a loud Crack! It was like a walking stick breaking. (Zechariah 11) Wisdom said, “Sin has done it.” Sin has caused the Church’s covenant to break. Only the Churches and prophets know in their hearts what they have done or not done. The message itself to the Churches and prophets was clear. Lord, Your servants have been warned. Your reward really is great when we put You first, when our reverence for You is pure, when we observe Your order and Your ordinances, and we seek Your righteousness.
Psalm 19:9 the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
On Wednesday, 23 January 2013 I cast out a spirit of Superstition.
On Saturday, 26 January 2013 I cast out a spirit Assumption that told me that what I write is deleted before it’s even been read. Still, I was forced to look at what is being “said” in this Grand Silence. Clearly the Seven Churches with their prophets have become hamstrung. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard (Ps 19:3); and yet the voice of their silence is going out through all the earth, and their silent “words” go out by “arc speak” to the end of the world. And God, You have still set a tent for the sun in the heavens (v 4), which comes out like a bridegroom from His wedding canopy, and like a strong man who runs its course with joy. (v 5) Nothing is hidden from its heat. (v 6) But the Grand Silence of the shepherds continues. Respectfully I say, “Fine, go your way. I bless you.” Mamma says you gotta let go of what you love to give it the choice to return to you if it wants. Four years ago this week on 25 January in 2009 my own mom died. I loved her and had to let her go to see the true depth of Love. Today I proclaim and do the same thing with the Seven Churches and the prophets. I let the shepherds go. I let them go in love, out of love, and for the sake of Love.
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
That’s pretty clear. Lord? What’s Your favorite flavor? In the Gospel lesson for today You did say, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:19) As a Parent You know that some kids just have a sweet way of getting into Your heart. It’s not that You go out of Your way to show favoritism, for You don’t do that. (Acts 10:34) But Father, I know that You are the One Who proclaims the favor. At the same time, on occasion there is the child who just does the sweetest things, because s/he has their attention on You and not on themselves, and who melts Your heart. That child does Your will and accomplishes Your will not because the child has to, but because s/he chooses to. And the Seven Churches are like children. And they have religiously maintained their positions. Favor? En Español: Por favor?? What do You think about all this?
I’ve been thinking…This week we celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. I thought of the first Martin Luther. He was a VERY strong leader and spiritual anchor out of the “Thyatira” lineage (Rev 2:18) and yet out this struggle “Pergamum” (Rev 2:12) was born. In this era today we honor and celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. He was another VERY strong leader and anchor for freedom and civil rights. (Isaiah would be proud of both men!) Both men discipled the world with their faith, vision, and words. Both suffered for their convictions. They were not in competition with each other. Their messages of Truth and integrity complimented each other and built upon each others’ works. So, what did Paul mean when he said,
1 Cor 12:31 But strive for the greater gifts.
Honestly, as a woman I “strive” to see the connections of how the greater gifts are working together. How are the apostles connecting to the prophets, connecting to the teachers? (v 29) How is word of God’s works of miracles (v 29) getting to the people so they may be encouraged and faith may be strengthened? I guess “striving” must be a guy thing, and I just don’t get it. I know what striving is from my old life as an elementary school teacher and later as a social worker, but that “striving” didn’t work for me. The archetypal Seven Churches also know what striving is, as they have been influenced by the seven angels who were sent to them. Angels do influence—even guardian angels. That’s why it’s really important to pray to God and not to angels. Angels are servants of the Most High. They have various duties. Angels can bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18) like the angel who announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds (Lk 2:10). Angels can release captives, like when one freed Peter from his prison cell (Act 12:7). Human disciples, like Ananias (Acts 9:10), can act as ministering “angels” (Heb 13:2) of the Lord to restore sight to the “blind” [ie, multiple levels of “blindness”] like when the Lord sent Ananias to lay hands on Saul after Saul was blinded in his conversion experience (Acts 9:12). All the points in today’s Gospel reading from Luke 4:17-19, as Jesus stood up and read from the scroll of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2) and He read it to His homies in Nazareth (Luke 4:16), all this can still be (and often is) accomplished by angels, EXCEPT “to let the oppressed go free:”
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
Why can’t angels “let the oppressed go free?” Why does it require Jesus the Messiah to go where angels cannot tread? I believe it is because Oppression is caused by the biggest Goon angel: Satan. It is true that angels do fight Satan and his cronies, and they can even be waylaid by their battles (see Daniel 10:10-14), but it requires the Spirit of the Lord to break the spirit of Oppression. It requires the Spirit of the Lord to break idols, which cause the flock to scatter in the first place. Idols don’t sing praises to the Lord.
Zechariah 10:2The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
I, myself, intimately know indescribable struggle, pain, doubt, and ostracism. But this I also know: It is the Lord’s favor to rescue. “Favor” is not the same as favoritism. From what I can tell, “–isms” seem to be man-made creations. God doesn’t show favoritism (Ro 2:11). And yet God’s Favor is here. Rescue comes through the action of proclaiming. But how does the word get out when it is rotting in isolation? Catch 22. Proclaiming breaks the chains. The Lord will care for Judah. (Zech 10) “Judah” also represents the Church and not only a tribe of Israel. The message has already gotten to the Seven Churches. The message has been delivered:
Luke 4:21 Then He began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
And everybody’s eyes were all fixed. (Lk 4:20) I’m still not sure what the Churches’ eyes were fixed upon. Our eyes are supposed to be fixed on Jesus Christ. Each of the Seven Churches was given a promise. “He who overcomes…” (Rev 2 and 3) Each has overcome in their own way. Each did God’s will to the best of their ability because of God’s authority. (Rev 2:26) And they rolled up their scrolling (v 20) laptops, iPads, and Smart phones, gave them back to the Attendant (v 20,) and sat down (v 20). And stared some more. What the Church has not yet done is to proclaim:
Luke 4:19 “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The Church and the prophets have been under the influence of the angels to the Seven Churches. (Why else would the Lord address His letters in Revelation 2 and 3 to the angels of the Seven Churches?) We can turn the influence around. We can set up a universal “Brag On God” where anyone from any church, denomination, country, or even any religion could share their personal miracle of where God has set them free from their very own scary zone of oppression. People from everywhere could brag on God, focusing on God’s favor. No proselytizing, no lecturing or preaching. Just bragging on God through sharing. What a concept! To me this does not seem like “striving.” Although I could be wrong. I could be naïve. But how wrong can it be to have the whole world focusing on God for a change?
Prayer: King Jesus, please forgive us for having succumbed to the influence of any other forces except Your Holy Spirit. Clear us from hidden faults. Plumb-line us to be in perfect alignment with Your motivation. Please hone our spiritual receptors of discernment. Enwrap us in Your peace. Fill our mouths with Your praise. And grace our hands with Your divine connections. Sweet gracious, Amen.

03 After Epiphany 27 January 2013 Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
8:1 all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel.

8:2 Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month.

8:3 He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.

8:6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

8:8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

8:9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.

8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Psalm 19
19:1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

19:2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;

19:4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

19:5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

19:6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.

19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;

19:8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;

19:9 the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

19:12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

19:13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

12:14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

12:15 If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

12:16 And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

12:20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.

12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

12:22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

12:23 and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect;

12:24 whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member,

12:25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.

12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.

12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

12:31 But strive for the greater gifts.

Luke 4:14-21
4:14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.

4:15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

4:16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,

4:17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,

4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

4:20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.

4:21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

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