Bread and Circuses

“Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” Rulers, such as the scribes, could keep the people busy with memorizing doctrine or even entertained with superficial rhetoric. But rulers could not draw forth what Jesus drew forth, … Continue reading “Bread and Circuses”

Critical Thinking

In the Old Testament, young Samuel believes he is being called by Eli. But Eli is certain “the Lord was calling the youth.” The Lord calls Samuel to the context of allegiance to a WarLord, King David, and to a warrior nation, Israel. In the Gospel, Andrew believes he is being called by Jesus. Jesus … Continue reading “Critical Thinking”

Institutions Will Not Save Us

“Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem” where they told “King Herod” of their quest. They seek a newborn holy one, “We saw his star rising.” The Magi are scientists and believers open to epiphanies, to experiencing the essential meaning of divinity present in the world. They cultivate care for the natural world and all … Continue reading “Institutions Will Not Save Us”

Belonging to Caesar

The ‘Chosen People’ of ancient Israel were defeated by Babylonian enemies and dreamed of rebuilding their empire. When Persia’s King Cyrus defeated Babylon, he furthered the Israelites’ realization of that dream. Cyrus is thus contrived as an agent of Yahweh evident in today’s Old Testament reading, “Thus says the Lord to his anointed, Cyrus.” “It … Continue reading “Belonging to Caesar”

Conspiracy Theories

In Jesus’ time, learned scholars would convene among themselves apart from the people. In their enclaves they devised rules for the people to obey, often using specialized language. Asserting knowledge hidden from mere commoners, these learned rulers, and their consorts, kept the people divided, arguing over minutiae of their rules. Jesus, on the other hand, … Continue reading “Conspiracy Theories”

The Inchained

Those who know Jesus, know he is consistently disobedient to the rulers of his time; the “scribes and Pharisees,” so too “the Sanhedrin.” He will not be chained by them, made subservient to their divisive rules or system. He is free and encourages others to be free. He encourages people’s common unity; “be reconciled with … Continue reading “The Inchained”

The Myth of Chosen Ones

People who believe they are ‘Chosen Ones’ are undertaking a violent coup. They believe their mythical warrior deity, ‘the Lord,’ has unchosen Saul as King and chosen David. “(T)he LORD said to David, ‘You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.” Soldiers, some of whom once fought and killed for the … Continue reading “The Myth of Chosen Ones”

The Con of Wile E. Characters

Jesus tells a parable this Sunday about a conniving steward caught “squandering the master’s property.” Though caught, he does not stop his conniving. He merely shifts it to “his master’s debtors one by one.” He does so for personal benefit, figuring, “when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.” … Continue reading “The Con of Wile E. Characters”

Magic Kingdom

Abraham is known for a rather famous offer of hospitality to travelers, “please do not go on past … let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves.” Afterward, Abraham is rewarded, “One of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have … Continue reading “Magic Kingdom”

Stop Supporting the Troops

Abram is set to wage war. He “mustered three hundred and eighteen of his retainers, born in his house, and went in pursuit.” Retainers are armed soldiers, men born into debt/slavery to a tribal warlord, and used as troops.  Upon Abram’s victory, Melchizedek, allied with Abram, “brought out bread and wine, and being a priest … Continue reading “Stop Supporting the Troops”