Here’s the passage for this week from Luke 9 (The Message):
51-54 When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
55-56 Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59 He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
What is the Internet?
“When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.'” – John 1:38
Seriously, what is the internet? Many of us use the internet on a daily basis (like right now), but does anyone know what it actually is? All of these web pages, where are they exactly? If you can’t show it to me, why should I believe it’s really there?
As research for this devotion I asked the internet about itself and googled “what is the internet?” I got 4 billion hits. I only looked at the first billion and then I got a little tired. What is the internet?!!
Imagine explaining the internet to someone in a preindustrial culture who has never used electricity much less a computer. You might say, “The internet is a limitless, global network that knows everything. You can look stuff up, buy things, find a husband or a wife, it’s all there!” Obviously that would mean little to our pre-industrial friend. Finally, you say, “You know what, why don’t you just come over to my house, we’ll turn on the computer and you can see for yourself. Come and See. Come and See.”
When it comes to God we face a similar challenge. What is God? Where is God? We are told God is infinite and everywhere and clearly we are not. So how can limited beings access the infinite, all-knowing ground of being that permeates our lives and the universe at large?
The New Testament’s answer is simple: Jesus. Jesus is our window through whom we experience and connect to the wider, mysterious mainframe of God. Jesus is as necessary for experiencing God as a computer (or smartphone or tablet) is for experiencing the internet.
John doesn’t have all of this neatly worked out. He’s more poet than scientist. John invites us into the mystery, to experience the presence of God in Christ by following him.
Are you online?
Agape is astonishingly simple. That is what makes it difficult. It is not too complex for us, we are too complex for it. We must learn to become like little children if we are to find the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 18:3). For God is like a little child: utterly single-minded and pure of heart. That’s how God governs the universe: right from the center of it all. And that’s how we are called to govern our lives.
Source: The God Who Loves You
Variation On A Theme By Rilke
(The Book of Hours, Book I, Poem 1, Stanza 1)
A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me — a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic — or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.
~ Denise Levertov ~
Have you ever seen
in your life
than the way the sun,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
~ Mary Oliver ~
There will be no Wednesday Wisdom for the next few weeks while I’m on vacation.