Lent – Sunday week 3

The 23 hour day.

That’s today, with the time change. Most slept right through it. Today’s gospel reflection is here. It speaks to the issue of biblical interpretation.

I find enriching insights in so many new sources that I find it hard to fall back on a book cobbled together from pieces of documents around 2000 years old. Yes, they are rich and interesting, but knowing how much they’ve been tampered with (plenty of books exist on this subject), I don’t assign it the same value as some others do.

And I wonder why we still gloss or skip over the hardest parts: Love  your enemies. Forgive, forgive, forgive.

Maybe because they are so difficult.

Recently a researcher announced that humans were basically good, not intrinsically evil.

How might that change your daily interactions with others?

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, technically yesterday, began this season of Lent. If you’ve downloaded the pdf file, you may embark on a different kind of season. How different? Well, the first thing I want to do is take a deep breath. In order to prepare, it’s important to clear away the daily distractions, step off the path of the current race you’re in, and catch your breath before you begin.

Too often in the past I ran right into Lent with the intention of accomplishing a lot of change. This season, this Spring (one meaning of Lent), will be a time of discovery, and hopefully in that discovery a renewed sense of direction and self, and the appreciation and sharing of your gifts.

So relax, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for the next few days, and prepare to begin on Sunday. Yes, that normal ‘free’ day. Another way this season will be different.

John

Lenten Journal is here!

I’ve completed a Lenten journal, titled: Irrational Treasure, that includes my reflections for the Sundays in Lent, plus Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. This is a free download to anyone who’s interested. I’ll also post at the beginning of Lent to explore another way to use the time, a bit differently than the past ‘sacrificial’ focus, though, if you follow this, you may find others believing you are sacrificing a great deal.

You can sign up below and to the right to receive the download of the journal in an email link.

You can print it out and write in it, or just read it – it’s a pdf file, meaning you’ll need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. If you don’t have it, you can download the latest version here.

When you sign up for the download you’ll receive an email with a link in it. You can then download the file and share with others. (Or send them here!) If I have time, I will create an ebook of just my thoughts and reflections, leaving out the journal part of it. (You can use what you like to add your own thoughts, if you are inclined to do so.)

I hope this season brings you renewed faith, loving insight into who you are, and gratefulness.

John

Christmas in 9

With only 9 days until Christmas, the pressure mounts on those who procrastinate. One thing to keep in mind, (which one of my recent reflections talks about) is that too often we find we are buying presents so that we will appear to be someone we are not (though this may be unintentional or not foremost in our minds). We could be trying to keep up with other relatives and their buying habits, trying to buy the admiration and love of our spouse/children/etc., or just wanting to appear the magnanimous one.

I suggest instead consider who you are – and what gift(s) would reflect you the best. Of course, at this time you’ll also come across the old saying (I’m not sure how old it really is, though), of ‘presence, not presents’, and though this states the obvious about which is more important, I don’t believe it goes far enough.

What else could you do to extend that presence, even with a small present?

Peace, John

Second Sunday of Advent

A second candle is lighted, if you use the Advent wreath in your house. Mine’s still atop the fridge, but I hope to bring it down this week and dust it off. It might help me slow down a bit during this time of increased hectivity. That word could be considered a sniglet, from Rich Hall’s HBO program of the 80’s called Not Necessarily the News. I’m not a big fan of the gospel of Matthew, but that’s what we have for this year, so I’ll use it to reflect on specific little things.

For instance, in today’s reading, the least in heaven is considered greater than John the Baptist. As a programmer, this could be written this way:

YourRank BOOLEAN;

YourRank  :=  LEAST(‘any person in heaven’,God) > ‘John the Baptist’;

If this is true (as shown above), you should never sell yourself short.

John