Away from it all

What an odd choice. Jesus you’ve just been baptized and announced to be God’s gift for humanity; where are you going to go?  Jesus’ answer, “Away from it all.” We live now in a world of constant connectivity. I grew up in a time when if you passed people on the street talking to themselves, you knew they were crazy. Now, if you are simply walking — I mean looking at the world around you and putting one foot in front of another —- people ask you what’s wrong with your cell phone. Information floods in. We refuse to simply be quiet. We contribute our tweets to the chaos. We have become crazy people.


Jesus didn’t need to get away as much as we do. He chose forty days of wilderness. Complete isolation. He had no cell phone reception or wifi. The world lost his wisdom from Facebook for forty days. He heard no one. Even the devil honored this choice of solitude until the last few days. Jesus only needed forty days to reestablish his sanity, how long do you need?


Sunday, March 9, 2014
Lent 1

Transfiguration Sunday

I’m tired of Epiphany and looking forward to Lent beginning. This mid-winter season, takes us from the post-Christmas let down, you know, the Flight into Egypt and the Slaughter of the Innocents, to camping on the mountain with its weird epiphanies. I’m ready to be headed someplace real, like Jerusalem, the Cross, and an Easter Sunrise. It’s in Lent that we do religion. We tell people to fast and give things up. We schedule extra services and do Lenten studies. What Epiphany really lacks is controversy and some theological dogmas like incarnation and atonement. We want more words.


Then Moses brings the people to Mount Sinai and God appears. Jesus climbs a mountain with three of his disciples, and in the night, he is transformed. These Epiphanies are the final exams of a season when we haven’t been paying attention. So much of what is church is packed away after Christmas. People slack off their attendance and complain about the winter. Yet there is something empty and anti-church about these epiphanies. They take place on mountains far from any sacred buildings or large assemblies of people. Jesus doesn’t bring his Torah. The disciples can’t find a plug to charge their Kindle tablets. Into this emptiness, a mystery occurs which neither Moses, nor the disciples have words to talk about. God is other. Our experience of God is not just personal, it is ineffable.


Sunday, March 2, 2014
Epiphany 7


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