From the monthly archives:

June 2011

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John 20:19-29

by Lon on June 28, 2011

Continuing our journey through the book of John

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ”Peace be with you!”20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, ”Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ”Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymust), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ”Peace be with you!”27 Then he said to Thomas, ”Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, ”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Of all the words the resurrected Christ would have for his followers – it’s peace that he declares upon them, twice.  If we could imagine for a moment peace being the centre of Christ’s message – how does that shape you and the way you live your life?

It’s interesting that the Holy Spirit was breathed on them.  Very much like the Genesis account of humanity itself.  If the Holy Spirit is to be ‘received’ though – could it be denied?

v23 is also troubling as it elevates the importance of our own capacity to forgive.  Could we literally be damning others by our lack of forgiveness towards them?

Thomas couldn’t believe until Christ showed him his scars.  Maybe we need to begin showing our scars too.

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Bombs of love?

by Lon on June 23, 2011

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John 20:11-18

by Lon on June 23, 2011

Continuing our journey through John

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, ”Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, ”Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, ”Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Okay – Peter and the other disciple ran into the tomb and didn’t see the two angels in white?  Or did they not appear until afterwards?  Maybe some sightings of the divine only occur when you wait awhile.

This is also one of the few accounts where angels are encountered and people aren’t in fear.  Mary just continues having a regular conversation with them – could it be her state of sorrow with Christ being missing?

Jesus asks ‘Who is it you are looking for?’ – Is this Jesus’ sense of humor piquing through, or does he just love asking leading questions?

At the moment Mary’s name is uttered – she realizes.  There’s something profoundly powerful about our name and those we love.

“Do not hold on to me” Christ declares – could there possibly be something better than holding on to Christ?  How many of us continue to cling to him while disobeying him?


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Abolishing Wealth & Poverty

by Lon on June 13, 2011

Your thoughts?

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John 20:1-10

by Lon on June 13, 2011

Continuing our journey through the gospel according to john

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

What an odd account.

Mary’s first reaction – Jesus must have been taken.  After all that time with Jesus and listening to his teachings, and seeing glimpses of his Godly nature, resurrection was not a sound possibility for her.

Peter and the other disciple’s are shown here as they make a mad dash to see if Jesus is really missing.  Sometimes we do need to ‘see’ to some degree before we believe.  Is there something you’re waiting for to take that extra step of faith wherever you are in your journey?

The oddest part is the way this passage ends – the disciples simply went back to where they were staying.  Could there be a more anti-climactic response?  Could it be the key here is that because they ‘believed’ that led them to returning to the task at hand?

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