Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cracked Pots

John 2

"2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
(I wonder if Jesus said this with a peaceful smile.  His time has not yet come to be broken open and his blood spilled.  The bread and wine, body and blood would be his offering.  Jesus drove away many who would pretend to follow him by the shocking statement, "Eat my flesh and drink my blood."  He didn't waste time in threshing out those who wouldn't stick around long enough to discover what he meant by what seemed like revolting words. The disciples agreed it was a "hard saying" but as Peter put it, where else could they go?
  I would take issue with what I understand to be long-held Catholic (and past Protestant perhaps?  I've heard Martin Luther may have still held this?) teaching of transubstantiation where the elements change into actual flesh and blood of Christ which somehow adds to one's spiritual growth.  I think that might be putting it into the realm of works based religion even to actual cannibalism, which the early church was mistakenly persecuted for.  I don't feel confident in saying Jesus was making a play on words or being humorous, but does seem to be speaking on different levels all at once here.  I love that.  The fractal of Biblical DNA, that can be found over and over again to speak to any situation at any time.
"They have no wine" probably was not intended by Mary to refer to the "drink offering" of Jesus blood being spilled, but he answers as if it were.  I like that the jugs were ceremonial washing, fitting with the paradoxical nature of the only sinless and pure blood being able to wash out the permanent defiling stains of sin.  Blood has been designed to "cry out" from the ground like Abel's, and it cries out from under the UV light of a crime scene investigator, or from under microscope through DNA.  Is that an accident?
I think he was also pointing to the future wedding feast on God's holy mountain.  I like to say, since I was set free from alcohol addiction over ten years ago, that I won't drink wine again until that great feast in paradise one day.  God indeed invites us to be full of His Holy Spirit to the point of being "drunk". 
John 1:4-5 says, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
(Life is in the blood.  The spirit of a man pours out with his blood in a sense.  The ceremonial washing jars were filled to the brim, which to me sounds like they were just about filled to overflowing.  In Revelation it says that the Spirit and the bride call for Christ's return (Revelation 22:17, "17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.").  That is because the Spirit was left with us (His bride), Immanuel is God with us, to fill us as clay pots.  God chose to come down for our sake take on a "clay pot" human body, and fill it with His pure cleansing blood, and be broken as bread and poured out as wine for our cleansing. 
In Judges 7:16 "16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. ("...the life was the light of men.")
"20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
Ephesians 6:17-18a adds, "17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit"
"9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him." (in John)
(in John) His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days." 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Different Mary a Different Christ?

To my Catholic neighbors. 

Because I love you and want to show you something out of humility, not boasting in myself or my wisdom, but in hopes that God has made this plain to us.

Based on what I've heard during my times listening the local Catholic radio station, along with other studies, reading and speaking with former Catholic friends. I've heard a lot about "Mary" and her "intercession" for us in heaven "now and at the hour of our death". You pray to her. You still believe in purgatory. You still seem to have indulgences in the forms of adoration, droning prayers, the rosary, and your good works. I've heard Christ belittled by her "immaculate conception" and her "sinlessness" and heard repetitive prayers described in Matthew 6:6-8 
 ("But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.").

Your apologists have ways around this, but I find it hard not to see it as salvation by works and empty words. These repetitive prayers are broadcast over the airwaves for Catholics to pray in unison.  I've heard very little teaching of God's word, and more "Catholic Answers", advice for Catholics, or why you should be a part of the one true Church. Not to say I haven't heard some accurate teaching, but it's mixed with some strange fire. I don't mean to say that everyone under the Catholic umbrella believes all these things, but this is what comes down from Rome, from your Pope who calls himself Holy Father, and is a Jesuit (topic for another time perhaps).

Matthew seems to be hitting on these topics:
Matthew 23:8-10 

"But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.   And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.  Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ."

 If the real Mary can hear you in heaven she must cringe to hear you deify her:
calling her the "Queen of Heaven".  Here's what both of our bibles say about this, even if yours has a few more books than mine.

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 

Jeremiah 44:17 But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. 

Jeremiah 44:18 But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 

Jeremiah 44:19 And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?” 

Jeremiah 44:25 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Friend Bill Irwin

Bill Irwin was a great man and that's an understatement.  We lost a true hero and man of selfless love and perseverance light years beyond the status quo.  He is greatly missed and loved by many, and insisted on being a friend to everyone he knew.  I am privileged to have known Bill, God restored my life through his friendship.  He led many out of addictions, and slavery to sin.