Monday, January 20, 2020


A NEW CREATION

It was the beginning of all things new, make no mistake!  John's Gospel awakens in us the earthy smells of the first creation when God spoke all things into existence.  Heralding what can only be understood now as a new creation, he declared that the One who is the light and life of all people has come into the world.  This One who was from the beginning with God, was God, and apart from him not one thing came into being.  This One took on human flesh and dwelt among us so that all people might know God, and believing in him (the Word made flesh), have salvation in his name.  What a rush!

Jesus came to those who were his own and they did not receive him.  Did that stop God?  NO!  The world's usual measure of determining what was of value, important, or powerful was forever disrupted, overturned and put on notice.  Immediately, Jesus began his ministry by calling and empowering those who appeared to be of no consequence to the larger scheme of things.  They followed him, watched as he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, and reached out to all manner of people (men, women, and children), who according to religious leaders, were beyond the reach of God.  Jesus touched the untouchables, those unclean or judged unworthy, and conversed with people who were not a part of the Chosen People of God.  Clearly the world was about to turn!

Of course, that got Jesus in a great deal of trouble, that and the fact that the multitudes flocked to see what he might do next and hung on his every word!  We can sympathize with how threatened those in power must have felt, after all, they had a great deal to lose if their authority was jeopardized.  Yet they could do nothing until "his hour had come", until his mission of reconciling all things to God was finished.  When that hour came, Jesus willing laid down his life that all people would have life through his death and resurrection.  Through the Word made Flesh, a door was opened and ordinary people envisioned a new way of being in the world.

It is to this life of humble obedience that Jesus called his first disciples, to see all others as having value and being loved by God regardless of status, gender, orientation, age, nationality, or worthiness.  Just as grace and mercy was lavished on them, so they were to love one another and all God's children. Lest we forget, all God's children includes "ALL" who came into being through him.  Every one, no exceptions!

Our Christian calling is the same.  If  we cannot see the new creation, it's on us....

Monday, January 6, 2020


ON THE FIRST DAY…

Humility, a state of being humble, deriving from the Latin word, humilis. 

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.”  Philippians 2:5, 8 (NRSV)

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but wisdom is with the humble.”  Proverbs 11:2 (NRSV)

It has been said that communication between people, people with differing opinions or world views, has become more course, disconnected, lacking moral accountability, and too easily inhumane. We readily acknowledge that America is sharply divided spiritually, economically, politically, and socially and that a chasm has opened up that appears ever-widening and dangerously non-traversable with little interest in bridge building. We lament, “It’s too wide! Our differences are irreconcilable!  What can one person alone accomplish?  Or…I have no desire to engage those people anyway!”

We have all said something along those lines when confronted by pushback regarding our own deeply held beliefs or life’s passion. Hearts and minds tend to shut down refusing any further information that does not support our perspective or agenda, because we inherently believe our truth is already fully known and unalterably real. Social media also plays a role in gratifying instant responses to differing views, shapes who/what we categorize as corrupt, and readily offers affirmative voices to assuage our position. Added to that reality is a failure on all sides to be concerned with source integrity or fact-checking, promoting whatever comes our way by adding to the perpetual diatribe of the ludicrous.  Truth is perceived as whatever supports my individual (or like-minded group’s) needs, beliefs, and perspective.  Those not in agreement are determined WRONG, ignorant, and sadly, even demonized. 

What can we possibly do to change such a perceived crystalline reality, complete and perfect in no apparent need of anything more?

Please note that you will find here musings gleaned from experiences gained as a fellow sojourner while leaning into the promised hope and reign of the Kingdom of God, now, in this time, everywhere and at once!  Being followers of Christ has never been easy or simple in any age, nor was/is the journey of faith possible apart from the whole Body of Christ.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:16-21: “And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (NRSV)

To parse out the Body of Christ according to some other gospel that seeks personal authority and righteousness over against our calling to love God with our all our heart, mind strength and soul, or failing to love our neighbors and our enemies as ourselves is perilous! 

Only by allowing the mind of Christ and his humility to shape our lived-Christian witness, will the bridge that is Christ’s own sacrifice for us, be visible and The Way forward begun.  Christ invites us to journey together, warts and all, no exceptions!

Friday, January 3, 2020




HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In the beginning…these words have always held me spellbound, promising the revealing of great truths and intimate knowing that remains unblemished by  human experience, and thus any corrupted reflection.  We cannot/do not know what the future holds.  Each life commences in just the same fashion.

However, much of what we know, the means by which reality is perceived individually or collectively, is already hardwired into us by the tender age of five years.  Largely our basis for knowing predates a cognitive ability to logically create a synthesis of experience and is dependent upon chance or an immature reasoning based on emotion that lacks adequate input to properly evaluate what has transpired. 

Many of the decisions we make, our likes and dislikes, or willingness to move beyond our comfort zones are made within seconds of being presented with an option or confronted by a situation that causes us discomfort.  It is literally breathtaking the speed at which we embrace or reject opportunities, relationships, or new information!  Much of what we have come to adamantly believe we “know” is based on  “feelings” catalogued during our toddler years and little more. 

Additionally, every individual has an inner historian who tends to the rewriting of our personal stories concerned primarily with supporting the ego and our need to be the hero of our particular saga.  Human being is incredibly fragile; we unwittingly participate in this corruption of data to avoid overload of our insecure emotional selves, and to extirpate ourselves from any inadvertent culpability.  Changing this life-reducing pattern of thought and behavior is possible only when the individual reflects on past, present or future possibilities with a mature examining of, and reflection on, a total collection of information available at any given time.  It quickly becomes apparent that our human consciousness does have the capacity to expand over time, requiring a mature individual or society to revisit and examine previously held notions, however sacred, based on newly acquired information.

However, information lies at the crux of our modern dilemma!  Which information will we examine, evaluate, and stir into the primordial soup of an imagined or hoped for new reality?  Any recipe undertaken by a serious chef would necessarily demand organic ingredients. Only the purest, most healthy specimens contribute toward an exquisite experience of cuisine that delights the palate, satisfies hunger, and simultaneously benefits overall health.  Each ingredient must be carefully evaluated to determine its ability to blend, punctuate, and contribute toward a holistic impact on a desired outcome.  We all know too much of any one thing, or an inability to absorb or flavor other ingredients risks spoiling an entire dish!   

Always, I am awed by the Table ministry of Jesus that so deftly addressed the complexity of human sinfulness with the basic ingredients of water, wine, and bread leavened by the Word made flesh!  In this new decade of unlimited potential and possibility, I am dedicating my blog, “Rood Interruptions”, to a venture of imagining a future where God in Christ Jesus is the main ingredient and issues of the day might thoughtfully be assessed according to what will properly blend, punctuate or contribute toward a more Christ-centered vision for 2020. 

A NEW CREATION It was the beginning of all things new, make no mistake!  John's Gospel awakens in us the earthy smells of the first c...