Archive | March, 2013

Truth

29 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Good Friday 29 March 2013
Truth
The Lectionary Barons placed Isaiah 52:13-15 BEFORE verses 1-12
See, my servant shall prosper. (v 13)
Many astonished at his marred appearance. (v 14)
He shall startle many nations. (v 15)
For that which had not been told them, they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. (v 15)
Who has believed what we have heard? (v 1)
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (v 1)
Church and prophets, I ask the same questions. I’ve been sharing the journey and writing my Reflections since Ash Wednesday 2009. Who has believed? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Hebrews 10:18 Where there is forgiveness of these [lawless deeds (v 17) of saying and doing nothing], there is no longer any offering for sin.
O Bride, have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus. (v 20) Jesus is our Great High Priest. (v 21) Approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, and with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscious and our bodies washed with pure “water.” (v 22)
Church-as-Bride, “Whom are you looking for?” (Jn 18:7)
“Put your sword back into its sheath.” (v 11)
“I have spoken [written] openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues [churches] and in the temple [of the heart], where all the Jews [and Christians] come together. I have said [written] nothing in secret.” (v 20)
“Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard [read] what I said [wrote] to them; they know what I said.” (v 21)
“If I have spoken [written] wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken [written] rightly, why do you strike me?” (v 23)
“Take him [/her] yourselves and judge him [/her] according to your law.” The Jews [Christians] replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (v 31)
“What have you done?” (v 35)
“I came into the world, to testify to the Truth.” (v 37) JESUS IS MY KING! JESUS IS OUR KING! I belong to the Truth and listen to His Voice. (v 37)
“What is truth?” (v 38)
“I find no case against him [/her].” (v 39)
“Look, I am bringing Him out to you to let you know that I find no case against Him.” (John 19:4)
Do you?
“Here is the Man!” (v 5)
“Take Him yourselves and crucify Him; I find no case against Him.” (v 6)
“We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has claimed to be the Son of God.” (v 7)
“Where are you from?” (v 9)
“Do you refuse to speak to me? (v 10)
“You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (v 11)
Did they hand you over?
They sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. (v 13)
“Here is your King!” (v 14) Jesus is OUR King! No one else! Is that so hard to fathom? No other gods before Him: Exodus 20:3
“Away with him! Away with him!” (v 15)
The Place of the Skull (v 17)
“What I have written I have written.” (v 22)
Divided into four parts. (v 23)
Cast lots. (v 24)
“Woman, here is your son.” (v 26) [cf Revelation 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.]
Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (v 27) [Revelation 12:2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.]
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:27)
“I am thirsty.” (v 28)
“It is finished.” (v 30)
“None of his bones shall be broken.” (v 36)
“They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” (v 37)
Myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. (v 39)
In the garden there was a new tomb [of Silence] in which no one had ever been laid. (v 41)
The Jewish day of Preparation (v 42)
~ ~ ~
Church, my story, our story, is like Jesus’ story, but it is not exactly the same. The words are the same. Jesus was literally the Passover Lamb, as He was sacrificed on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover.) (Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7) You and I, Church, were the Goat; the scapegoat [Leviticus 16] allowed to run free in the wilderness, where in the case of Jesus, the Lamb, He was slaughtered. Both sacrifice and freedom are part of the Sacrament of Atonement. Jesus paid the sacrifice so that we could go free.
Leviticus16:20 “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites [and the Church]—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.
And he did!
Rev 12:6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
This is the Truth. When it said, “He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task,” it was God and the work of the Holy Spirit Who was appointed for the task and has been taking care of me. Yeah, sometimes it has felt like God was “mighting” and wavering in sometimes taking care, and sometimes neglecting, and sometimes allowing me to feel tortured, and sometimes showering me with such gifts of grace that I knew that God loved me. So, God, are we finally done with the 1,260 days yet? Church, stop the sin offerings! You’re killing me! Rejoice! We’ve been set free! Come, let us worship together. Yes, we’ve been sifted like Jesus told Peter (Lk 22:31), but once we have turned back (repented), we are to strengthen each other. (v 32)
John 19:35 (She who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. Her testimony is true, and she knows that she tells the truth.)

Good Friday 29 March 2013 Gospel: John 18:1-19:42
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
52:13 See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

52:14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him–so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals-

52:15 so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

53:1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

53:2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

53:3 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

53:4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

53:8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

53:9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.

53:11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

53:12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 22
22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

22:2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

22:4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

22:5 To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

22:6 But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.

22:7 All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

22:8 “Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver– let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

22:9 Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

22:10 On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

22:11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

22:12 Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

22:13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;

22:15 my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

22:16 For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled;

22:17 I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me;

22:18 they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

22:19 But you, O LORD, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!

22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

22:21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.

22:22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

22:24 For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

22:25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

22:26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD. May your hearts live forever!

22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

22:28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.

22:29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.

22:30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,

22:31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.

Hebrews 10:16-25
10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,”

10:17 he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

10:18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

10:19 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,

10:20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh),

10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

10:22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

10:23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.

10:24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,

10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
4:14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.

4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.

4:16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

5:8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;

5:9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

John 18:1-19:42
18:1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.

18:3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

18:4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?”

18:5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

18:6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.

18:7 Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

18:8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”

18:9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.”

18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.

18:11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

18:12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

18:13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

18:14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,

18:16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.

18:17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”

18:18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

18:19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.

18:20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.

18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.”

18:22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”

18:23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

18:24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”

18:26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?”

18:27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

18:28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover.

18:29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

18:30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”

18:31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.”

18:32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

18:33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

18:34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”

18:35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”

18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”

18:37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

18:38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him.

18:39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”

18:40 They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.

19:2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.

19:3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face.

19:4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.”

19:5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

19:6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.”

19:7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

19:8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.

19:9 He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”

19:11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

19:12 From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha.

19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”

19:15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”

19:16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus;

19:17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

19:18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

19:19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

19:20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

19:21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'”

19:22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

19:23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.
19:24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

19:25 And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”

19:27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

19:28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”

19:29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

19:30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.

19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.

19:35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

19:36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.”

19:37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.

19:39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

19:40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.

19:41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.

19:42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Washing the Feet of the Lord

28 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Maundy Thursday 28 March 2013
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
116:16 O LORD, I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the child of Your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

116:17 I will offer to You a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD.

116:18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,

116:19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in Your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Jesus, You said, “This is My body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Jesus, You said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Remembrance. (1 Cor 11:25)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Eat and drink. (v 26)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
He loved His own who were in the world. (John 13:1)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
And during supper… (v 2)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Given all things into the Father’s hands. (v 3)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Coming from God and going to God. (v 3)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Tied a towel around Himself. (v 4)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
He poured water into a basin. (v 5)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (v 7)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Unless I wash you, you have no share with Me.” (v 8)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“And you are clean, though not all of you.” (v 10)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
He knew. (v 11)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Do you know what I have done to you?” (v 12)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (v 14)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“For I have set you an example.” (v 15)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Do as I have done to you.” (v 15)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.” (v 16)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (v 17)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in Him.” (v 31)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“If God has been glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself and will glorify Him at once.” (v 32)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ (v 33)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (v 34)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (v 35)
Washing the Feet of the Lord
Washing the Feet of the Lord

Maundy Thursday 28 March 2013 Gospel John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
12:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt:

12:2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.

12:3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household.

12:4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.

12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

12:6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight.

12:7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

12:8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

12:9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs.

12:10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

12:11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD.

12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.

12:13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

12:14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
116:1 I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

116:2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

116:12 What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me?

116:13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,

116:14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.

116:16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

116:17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD.

116:18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,

116:19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

1 Corinthians 11:23-26
11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,

11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

11:25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
13:1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

13:2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper

13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,

13:4 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.

13:5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

13:6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

13:7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

13:8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

13:9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

13:10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.”

13:11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

13:12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?

13:13 You call me Teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am.

13:14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

13:15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

13:16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.

13:17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

13:31b When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.

13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

13:33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’

13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Who Will Declare Me Guilty?

27 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Holy Wednesday 27 March 2013
Who Will Declare Me Guilty?
John 13:20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts Me; and whoever accepts Me accepts the One who sent Me.
These were the words that Jesus said after He predicted that He would be betrayed.
John 13:19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.”
And after He said these things He was troubled in His spirit and declared: “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” (v 21) Today’s Gospel lesson begins with verse 21. I know the truth of this from my own experience. And Jesus had told us this would happen, when deceit and untruth would twist our knickers.
Mt 24: 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
I truly believe that the word “false” here does not mean “fake” but does mean not speaking the whole truth. God told us not to spread false reports. (Exodus 23:1) And then in the same chapter in Exodus 23:20-33 God sends an angel-messenger to navigate God’s people through the spiritual “landmines” so that we may all be able to celebrate the three annual festivals together. (v 14)
1. Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (v 15)
2. Feast of Harvest (v 16) [aka Pentecost ]
3. Feast of Ingathering (v 16) [aka Feast of Tabernacles] at the end of the year
The troubled spirit over betrayal has only intensified since my Calling, and all I can do is “open my ear.”
Isaiah 50:5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
Yes, Yeshua (Jesus) Messiah experienced the truth of Isaiah’s words from today’s Old Testament reading. And so have I. Hasn’t everyone who’s been betrayed experienced this also? This is universal. This doesn’t lessen the power of Jesus Messiah, but makes His story all the more credible.
“Lord, who is it?” (Jn 13:25)
A betrayer is the one who had his nose in the same food bowl with us. (v 26) Deception happens in receiving “the bread,” whatever we are “eating” together at the same table, whether it is creative, political, financial, educational, religious, or whichever “table.” It happens quickly when Satan enters in and does the quick switch. (v 27) To the untrained eye it is imperceptible. To those who have the gift of discernment of spirits, it is nonetheless disturbing, even when it is recognizable. No matter what time of day or night when the persona switch happens, it still creates a wake of spiritual darkness to those around them.
John 13:30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
It is in the darkest times of spiritual “night” when the Son of Man is glorified because God shines brightest in the darkest times. When our soul flame seems to “go out” God picks up the torch.
John 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
The Church, too, has also gone through this as well. She has betrayed and been betrayed. But she will be glorified, because God will glorify Himself in her, and He’ll do it at once. (v 32) This does not have to mean the glory of the rapture. Once a secret is broken, and the truth gets out, “breaking news” happens at once. That’s why it’s called a “News Flash.”
Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
As the Great Nothing in the Grand Silence with the Seven Churches continues to drone on and on and on, God continues to tell me daily with repeated firmness: “Michael’s got the books.” And God did give all of us a promise and a warning, the same as Jesus gave us a promise and a warning:
The LORD said:
Exodus 23:20 I am sending an angel to protect you and to lead you into the land I have ready for you.
I know that everyone in this drama which we have all been through together will be able to glory in our own humanness, but until the Truth is exposed, I trust in the Lord:
Isaiah 50:7 The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

50:8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

50:9a It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Holy Wednesday 27 March 2013 Gospel: John 13:21-32
Isaiah 50:4-9a
50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens– wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

50:5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.

50:6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

50:7 The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

50:8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

50:9a It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Psalm 70
70:1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O LORD, make haste to help me!

70:2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life. Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.

70:3 Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!” turn back because of their shame.

70:4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”

70:5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!

Hebrews 12:1-3
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

12:3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

John 13:21-32
13:21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

13:22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.

13:23 One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him;

13:24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.

13:25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

13:26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

13:27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.”

13:28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.

13:29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor.

13:30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.

13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

What’s Left to Write?

26 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Holy Tuesday 26 March 2013
What’s Left To Write?
Isaiah speaks loudly and clearly through today’s lectionary selection from the Old Testament readings. My soul soaks up every word as he proclaims:
Isaiah 49:1 Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.

49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.

49:3 And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

49:4 But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the LORD, and my reward with my God.”

49:5 And now the LORD says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and my God has become my strength-

49:6 He says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers, “Kings shall see and stand up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
My soul basks in the truth of the words of Psalm 71.
And my soul cries out. Please rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel! (Ps 71:4) No joke–my goal in life as a child was to grow up to be gentle. And yet I am still spurned and dismissed as if my words and my being were dust on the wind. O God, do not cast me off, in the time of my old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. (v 9)
Lord, since You said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” (Jn 12:23) would You keep Your promise? You did say it twice. (v 28) Jesus, You were the great Jederman as they say in German, the Everyman, Son of mortal, divinely human AND humanly divine. I just followed Your lead. I did “die” to myself and fell to earth and “died.” And the earth “swallowed me up.” (Rev 12:16) And there my life’s work remains just as a single grain. (v 24) You have promised it will bear much fruit. (v 24) You keep promising me that Michael’s got the books. I did love my life and lost myself in great love of You. (v 25) I did serve by following You and kept my nose in Your back. (v 26) You said, “Whoever serves Me, the Father will honor.” (v 26) Sigh. Really? Your back is kinda sweaty. My soul has often been troubled and I wanted You to ‘save me from this hour.’ (v 27) But I know that it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. (v 27) At the beginning of my calling You gave me two directives: to “Worship God” and to “Share the journey.” Now I am exhausted. Where is there Jesus with skin on in this world?
John 12:28 “Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
Father? You glorified your name with Jesus. And with the bride? You told us that we are to believe in the light while we still have the light, so that we may become children of the light. (v 36) And I believed. And after you said this, You departed and hid from them. (v 36) Lord, dear, You’re doing it again. Please don’t hide from me. I’d like to hide, too, but I have no sanctuary. Remember what You said?
Matthew 8:20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
I’m just a mortal and I am in the same predicament that You were in. Lord, have mercy! You ARE the carpenter, as Francis Frangipane pointed out.
Prayer: In my hour of darkness I trust that Your love is all-consuming to rebuild Your house where there is room enough for everyone to have actual sanctuary. You did promise that there are many rooms in the Father’s mansion. (Jn 14:2) Your prayer is our prayer.

Holy Tuesday 26 March 2013 Gospel: John 12:20-36
Isaiah 49:1-7
49:1 Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.

49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.

49:3 And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

49:4 But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the LORD, and my reward with my God.”

49:5 And now the LORD says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and my God has become my strength-

49:6 He says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers, “Kings shall see and stand up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Psalm 71:1-14
71:1 In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

71:2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.

71:3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

71:4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

71:5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

71:6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

71:7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.

71:8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long.

71:9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.

71:10 For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together.

71:11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver.”

71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!

71:13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace.

71:14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.

1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom,

1:23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1:25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

1:26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are,

1:29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God.

1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

1:31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

John 12:20-36
12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.

12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

12:23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

12:24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

12:27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say–‘ Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.

12:28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.

12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.

12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

12:34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

12:35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going.

12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

A Prayer of Annunciation

25 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Holy Monday 25 March 2013
A Prayer of Annunciation
Lord Jesus,
Even before You asked me to marry You, I had said like Mary, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38) And You sent me to Your Church. But the Church, like King Ahaz, would not ask God and would not put Him to the test. (Isa 7:12) The Church was afraid, because You had said to the devil, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Mt 4:7) Lord, You had already given us the Sign of Yourself. (Isa 7:14) The Father had already sent us young Mary who was with child and bore a son, and named You Immanuel. (v 14) Then later You said again, “Look, the not-so-young woman is with “child” and shall bear a “son:”
[cf Rev 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.]
But that son from the Book of Revelation was not named Immanuel. (cf back to Isa 7:14) Your name means, God With Us. And Lord, You ARE with us!
Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
It is the authority of His Messiah, and nobody else’s. You, Jesus, have that authority.
My heart overflows with a goodly theme, as I address my verses to You my King; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. (Ps 45:1) In Your majesty I ride on victoriously for the cause of Truth and to defend the right to be. (v 4) My right hand did teach me “dread” deeds. (v 4)
Lord, You said,
Ps 45:10 Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house,

45:11 and the King will desire your beauty. Since He is your Lord, bow to Him;
And I do. I believe You, Lord, when You say,
Ps 45:16 In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.
You have promised this to the lovers of You in Revelation 7:9-11. The great multitude carried palm branches, not barbeque. Lord, You said,
Heb 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
You said,
Ps 40:6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Lord, You may not have required it, but I must admit that I feel a tad singed. My edges are rather crispy. I am very grateful for the “open ear” You have given me. It may not be honored and respected by others around me, but I treasure it because it is a gift from You. I lay it at Your feet.
Ps 40:7 Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
Truly,
Ps 40:9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips [or pen], as you know, O LORD.

40:10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Heb 10:7 Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”
I believe this to be absolutely true:
Heb 10:10 And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hello?
Once for all.
Once and for all.
But how many times can one kill the “bull”?
There seems to be no end to that, Lord. You have to do something.

Annunciation of the Lord Holy Monday 25 March 2013 Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
Isaiah 7:10-14
7:10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying,

7:11 Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.

7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.

7:13 Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?

7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Psalm 45
45:1 My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

45:2 You are the most handsome of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.

45:3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your glory and majesty.

45:4 In your majesty ride on victoriously for the cause of truth and to defend the right; let your right hand teach you dread deeds.

45:5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.

45:6 Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;

45:7 you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

45:8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;

45:9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

45:10 Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house,

45:11 and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him;

45:12 the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people

45:13 with all kinds of wealth. The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;

45:14 in many-colored robes she is led to the king; behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.

45:15 With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.

45:16 In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.

45:17 I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

Psalm 40:5-10
40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.

40:6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

40:7 Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

40:9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.

40:10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Hebrews 10:4-10
10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;

10:6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

10:7 Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

10:8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),

10:9 then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.

10:10 And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Luke 1:26-38
1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,

1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

1:28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

1:29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

1:30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

1:31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.

1:33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

1:34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

1:35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

1:36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.

1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

1:38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Conferring A Kingdom

24 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for Palm Sunday 24 March 2013
Conferring a Kingdom
When the hour came, Jesus took His place at the table, and the apostles with Him. (Luke 22:14) He eagerly desired to eat that Passover with them before He suffered. (v 15)
Luke 22:16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
None of us will feast at God’s banquet table until the suffering is divided among ourselves. (v 17) So far it has not been divided fairly but some shoulder more of their share of the burdens than others. Honesty breaks the “loaf.” Jesus was always upright and honest. Honesty was His “body.”
Luke 22:19 Then He took a loaf of bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Humility is the “cup.”
Luke 22:20 And He did the same with the cup [of humility] after supper [of honesty], saying, “This cup [of humility] that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
Then Betrayal put his hand on the table. (v 21) Every mortal (’son of man’) has suffered at the hand of Betrayal. (v 22) And woe to all of us by whom he was betrayed. (v 22) Sometimes betrayals are deliberate and intentional and sometimes not. The focus is not on the betrayal or betrayer or even the betrayed. The mercy is that because Jesus stayed in grace and fulfilled His calling and mission and rose from the dead, we know that we always have Him by our side when we suffer (as well as when we rejoice.)
In Luke’s account of the Passion the disciples caught the spirit of Honesty, but missed the Humility. They disputed among themselves as to which one of them would be the greatest. Jesus said that kings lord their greatness over them and those in authority are called benefactors. (v 25) And this is still true. Those in power bestow their power, and the line wiggles and moves but still remains hierarchical no matter what it’s called. In Jesus’ structure, servants are greatest. The leader is like one who serves. (v 26) The leader keeps his nose in Jesus’ back as Jesus leads the way. The servant-leader is not just in for his own interests and neither does he neglect himself. Learning balance is a process. Jesus modeled that. (v 27)
It’s at this point in the conversation where I “hear” Jesus speaking His same words to us as the collective Church today.
Luke 22:28 “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials;

22:29 and I confer on you, just as My Father has conferred on Me, a kingdom,

22:30 so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
What’s to judge? We’ve all done the same thing. Just as Simon Peter was sifted, all of us were sifted like wheat (v 31) because we have walked in Peter’s and the disciples’ sandals. But Jesus was (and has been, and continues to be) praying for us that our own faith may not fail; and that once we have turned back (repented,) we would strengthen our brothers and sisters. (v 32) In truth, some of us have gone to prison and death. (v 33) And the Church, just as with individuals in their growth cycles, denied Him three times. (v 34) I was looking at my own growth cycles and in every one of them I went through three denial surges before I “woke” up and grew into my “new shoes.” I’d have a preconceived notion, reach the end of my rope, I’d loop through Denial like the “Church of Philadelphia” [Rev 3:8] and then I’d stand and look Jesus in the eye from my own pain and say honestly to Him, “I don’t know You anymore!” Then He’d kindly say, “I know.”
Matthew 25:12 “But He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
Gosh, how do you fight that? Then I’d repent, acknowledge His Lordship, ask for forgiveness of my blindness, and seek renegotiation of the terms of our relationship, so that we could go deeper. Then He’d gladly agree. What I had on my being were the two “swords” of Honesty and Humility.
Luke 22:38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”
Honesty and Humility are enough.
The Church, too, is in the process of renegotiating the terms of her relationship with God. This is different from what we have experienced with Jesus in the past. When Jesus was on the Mount of Olives with His disciples He said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” (v 40) Then He went off to pray.
Luke 22:42 “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of humiliation and suffering] from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and gave Him strength. (v 43) He became more anguished and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling on the ground. (v 44) He needed the comfort of praying friends and went back to the disciples. He found them sleeping because of grief. (v 45) This is human nature, to hide grief in sleep, and the Church has done the same thing;
Luke 22:46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”
But the Church “slept” on in her grief. Even though a rendition of the Lord’s Prayer includes, “Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil,” it is often spoken in rote without understanding. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit boosts our collective understanding that we may know that we are at a crossroads right now. [Rev 14:1-5] Even to date there are some preachers and prophets who continue to insist that civilization has even MORE suffering to endure as Israel supposedly has yet to go into the Great Tribulation. Has she not been going through enough tribulations which have been (and still are) quite horrific? What are these preachers thinking? They must not be coming from hearts of compassion, because to LOVE is to BLESS. Lord! “Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil!” I am convinced that we are at the end of the Great Tribulation, and that God is waiting for us to notice and repent. Maybe I’m missing something that others see. If that’s the case, I’m still willing to renegotiate the contract to get a fresh perspective. Don Finto said,
“Amazingly, Jewish tradition speaks of 2,000 years before Torah, 2,000 years of Torah and 2,000 years of the Gentiles. Then the Messiah is to come and usher in a “sabbatical” seventh millennium. …It could be a combination of Jew/Gentile leadership that we are to expect. First, in the time of the Jews, the leadership was Jewish. Then came the time of the Gentiles. But we will see the coming together of a Jew/Gentile Bride before the Lord’s return.”
I clearly “see” this, too. Rev 20:4 confirms. From all my Bible study and prayer, I haven’t seen anything but the New Heaven and New Earth (Rev 21:1) which has yet to be fulfilled. From my spiritual eye, all the other prophecies have been fulfilled. But who am I to say that?
Luke 23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.
Are the empty-headed “skulls” of our day treating Righteousness on the right and Honesty on the left as if they were criminals crucified with Love? It is possible to live righteous and honest lives without stubbornness. It is also possible to attain these while in a state of stubbornness, however Stubbornness doesn’t know Humility. And Humility was the cup that Jesus drank from. So, if we claim to be followers of Christ, then let us follow Him. It’s not like this is a rock-hewn tomb where no one has ever been laid. (v 53) Today is the Day of Preparation and the Sabbath rest is beginning (v 54) for the Church as she collectively goes through the process of “dying” to herself this Holy Week, so that she may rise in Christ, in Christ’s Spirit, heart, mind, unity, voice, friendship, and in right relationship with Him on Easter morning. He is taking us collectively through the repentance journey. Father, forgive us.
Prayer: Lord, it is Honesty that created the Grand Silence of the Seven Churches in the first place. It is Humility which will break the silence of the tomb and release all of us. [Rev 12:10] Holy Spirit break through with Your infinite grace and mercy and birth in us Your living kingdom. Amen.

Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 24 March 2013 Gospel: Luke 22:14-23:56
Isaiah 50:4-9a
50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens– wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

50:5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.

50:6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

50:7 The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

50:8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

50:9a It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Psalm 31:9-16
31:9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.

31:10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.

31:11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.

31:12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

31:13 For I hear the whispering of many– terror all around!– as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

31:14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

31:15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

31:16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

Philippians 2:5-11
2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,

2:8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross.

2:9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,

2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

2:11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Luke 22:14-23:56
22:14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.

22:15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

22:16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

22:17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves;

22:18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

22:19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

22:20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

22:21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table.

22:22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!”

22:23 Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.

22:24 A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest.

22:25 But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors.

22:26 But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.

22:27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

22:28 “You are those who have stood by me in my trials;

22:29 and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom,

22:30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

22:31 “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,

22:32 but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

22:33 And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

22:34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

22:35 He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.”

22:36 He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.

22:37 For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.”

22:38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

22:39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.

22:40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

22:41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed,

22:42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”

22:43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.

22:44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

22:45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief,

22:46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

22:47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him;

22:48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?”

22:49 When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?”

22:50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

22:51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.

22:52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit?

22:53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

22:54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance.

22:55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

22:56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.”

22:57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

22:58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

22:59 Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.”

22:60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.

22:61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”

22:62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

22:63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him;

22:64 they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”

22:65 They kept heaping many other insults on him.

22:66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council.

22:67 They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe;

22:68 and if I question you, you will not answer.

22:69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

22:70 All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.”

22:71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

23:1 Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate.

23:2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

23:3 Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.”

23:4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”

23:5 But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

23:6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.

23:7 And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

23:8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign.

23:9 He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer.

23:10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him.

23:11 Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate.

23:12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

23:13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,

23:14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him.

23:15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death.

23:16 I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

23:18 Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!”

23:19 (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

23:20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again;

23:21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”

23:22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

23:23 But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed.

23:24 So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.

23:25 He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

23:26 As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.

23:27 A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.

23:28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

23:29 For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’

23:30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

23:31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

23:32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.

23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.

23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

23:35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”

23:36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine,

23:37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

23:38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

23:40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

23:41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”

23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

23:43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

23:44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,

23:45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

23:46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

23:47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

23:48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts.

23:49 But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

23:50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council,

23:51 had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.

23:52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

23:53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.

23:54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.

23:55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.

23:56 Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Anointing the Feet

17 Mar

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 5 Lent on 17 March 2013, St Patrick’s Day
Anointing the Feet
I wonder if Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Jn 12:2) was thinking somewhere in the back of her mind the passage of Isaiah from today’s lessons (Isa 43:16-21) as she knelt at Jesus’ feet. Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). The Sanhedrin then called a meeting (Jn 11:47) and decided to kill Jesus (v 53). At that meeting the high priest, Caiaphas, had said,
Jn 11:50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.
Jesus likely knew what was going down among His homies, because He could no longer move about publically among His people (v 54), the people that He loved. However, He withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where He stayed with His disciples. (v 54)
A week before Passover, Jesus came to Lazarus’ house (Jn 12:1) and there He had dinner with His friends. (v 2) Surly those were turbulent times, in many spiritual ways not unlike our own. The Church-as-Lazarus has suffered through turbulent “waters” as well. We may not see what has been going on in the frothy “waters” churning among the Church-as-Institution and among the school [like fish] of prophets, but that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit hasn’t been working. Truly, the Lord has been doing a powerful work that has been hidden from most. It’s the Frozen Chosen in key positions who have been obstinate and blocking the view from others. The Church herself has been made ready. (Rev 19:7) This only highlights the truth of the following statement:
“The outworking of the “promise” that we have been given may be delayed beyond what the Lord originally intended.”
That doesn’t mean that God’s timetable is off. It means that God is working out His salvation (Ph 2:12) in the hearts of His people and fulfilling prophecy at the same time (Ph 2:13). Only God can change the heart. The Lord has already made a way in the “sea,” a path in the mighty waters. (Isa 43:16) He has brought out “chariot and horse, army and warrior.” (v 17) They lie down prostrate in humility; they cannot rise, and they lie extinguished, quenched like a wick. (v 17) The former things that we have tried (v 18) have come to naught. Considering the things of old (v 18) seems to only agitate old wounds we thought had healed. Being “awake” and risen from the “dead” of sleepwalking through life sometimes feels too painful to bear. But God says,
Isa 43:19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

43:20 The wild animals will honor Me, the [conniving] jackals and the ostriches [who bury their heads in the sands and pretend that God is not on the move]; for I give [spiritual] water in the wilderness [of your life], rivers in the desert [of stagnation], to give drink to My [frozen] chosen people,

43:21 the people whom I formed for Myself so that they might declare My praise.
As Mary knelt at Jesus’ feet I can imagine that she really was declaring His praise with her offering:
John 12:3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Then Judas Iscariot had a hissy fit, thinking of the cost (v 5); it’s always the cost and never the joy that micromanagers fixate on. Now, I ask you, dear reader, through the eyes of Divine Romance, when two people love each other, isn’t Love greater than counting the cost of the relationship? Sure, we anchor ourselves, count the cost, and then we sing, “The Things We Do For Love!” (Colin Smith, 1977)
Jesus verbally swatted Judas the puppy on his nose:
John 12:7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.
The Church-as-Institution has historically understood the depth of the meaning of this verse. It is an ancient tradition that the Church (as well as the Old Testament Prophets) used to practice, to steal away to the “desert” [ie, removal of distraction] to secure a quiet place of solitude to anchor in relationship with God. In the Middle Ages the Anchorites were even given the Last Rites as they were cloistered away (and in some cases walled into the church building) in a symbolic gesture that they were leaving their old lives behind and being “buried” with Christ. It is true that in every life betrayals (v 4) happen, and others try to “fix” us into what they consider as the “common purse,” and this is old. (Isa 43:18) But it is all oh-so-tiresome! There’s old and then there’s ancient. One snuffs and the other gives New Life. The ancient rumble is borne out of the old. When we anoint the feet of Jesus with our praise, then we, too, are “buried” with Him, so that the Holy Spirit is empowered to blaze a trail right over our bowed heads, bent backs, and prostrate bodies lying flat on the ground in worship of Who He is.
Almost a month ago Chuck Pierce and team had prophesied from the Lord on Saturday, February 16, 2013:
“He is coming as the Ancient of Days, and because He is the Ancient of Days, there is an ancient key that He carries. And in the carrying of this key you have seen the enemy take his place between you and the promise at this level.”
The “ancient key” is Relationship. It is because of relationship that the enemy really did take his place between the Church and the Promise. The relationship was real. If it hadn’t been, then Satan wouldn’t have bothered to try and take it away. (Rev 12:7-9) It was attempted to be taken away through the instrument of communication. But God has been trying to communicate His love all along. Honest communication opens a multitude of doors, but thus far the “Arc Speak” of the Holy Spirit has been doing all the work. The humans, not so much.
Historically, the event of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet happened a week before Passover and Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. (Jn 12:1) In a parallel, we, too, are a week before Palm Sunday (24 Mar 13) and the beginning of Passover (25 Mar 13). In divine poetry today is also the traditional Feast Day of St Patrick. Patrick was an ambassador for Christ to the people of Ireland. (d 461 AD) The chieftains of the Irish tribes of the fifth century were also keen on trying to micromanage their own people and “fix” Patrick into what they considered was their ‘common purse.” It would seem that nothing “at ‘tal, at ‘tal” [at all] has changed over the millennia as humanity continues attempts at micromanaging and fixating on the common purse. But St Patrick’ gave humanity the explanation of the Trinity in the simple clover. God is Three in One like the shamrock: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father works in the “leaf” of our heart-minds; Jesus the Son works through the “leaf” of our bodies; the Holy Spirit works through the “leaf” of our souls to transform us from the inside out. Because the Church forgot her divine mandate to honor the sacred ordinary and to not deny the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:31), the Church has herself in a tangle resembling interlacing ancient Celtic art. But God does not waste His poetry. So in a symbolic gesture, I put perfumed nard on the feet of the Church-as-Body and on the feet of the prophetic brethren to embolden all with courage and humility of the Holy Spirit. I rub the perfume into the collective Church’s “feet” with my hair. I breathe blessing into the “feet” so that she would glorify Jesus through her actions [ie feet] and recognize God at work. I ask God to show/reveal how He has already answered our prayers and that He may give us eyes to “see” what He has already manifested but we didn’t notice. I ask for the fruit of encounters bearing the seal of the Holy Spirit and endorsement of God in the gifts He has already given us. I ask for forgiveness on behalf of the Frozen Chosen. Forgive us and thaw us, Lord.
Father, please give us a sense of reverential awe in our response to You, humility as we “die” to our selfish old selves and tired old ways; courage as we walk through the doors of opportunity You have already granted us; and give us a heart to enjoy (in joy!) our lives and ministries You have entrusted to us, so that Your whole Church body would be reunited in You. Fulfill Your dream that the scattered children of God would finally be brought together and make us one in You. Bless and anoint our feet as we take the High Road around all the blarney. Amen.

5 Lent 17 March 2013 St Patrick’s Day Gospel: John 12:1-8
Isaiah 43:16-21
43:16 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,

43:17 who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:

43:18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

43:19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

43:20 The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

43:21 the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

Psalm 126
126:1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”

126:3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

126:4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb.

126:5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

126:6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

Philippians 3:4b-14
3:4b If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:

3:5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

3:7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.

3:8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.

3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death,

3:11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

3:13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

John 12:1-8
12:1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

12:2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.

12:3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said,

12:5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?”

12:6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)

12:7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.

12:8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”