June – 2016
1 Kings 17.17, 19, 21-22 (NRSV)
[A widow’s son] became ill; his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him.
Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.” He took him from her bosom, carried him up into the upper chamber where he was lodging (the prophet was staying with the widow and her son), and Elijah laid him on his own bed. 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out, “…My God, let this child’s life come into him again.” [God] listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.
The Wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The purpose of life is…to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Luke 7.12-17 (Contemporary English Bible, adapted)
As Jesus approached the city gate of Nain, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her.
When Jesus saw her, he had compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” He stepped forward and touched the stretcher on which the dead man was being carried. Those carrying him stood still. Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, get up.”
The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Awestruck, everyone praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help [us].” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding region.
2 Samuel 12.13 (Durrell Watkins’ paraphrase)
King David said to the prophet Nathan, “I have used poor judgment; I have done a terrible thing.” And Nathan replied, “God forgives you…”
Luke 7.36-40, 44-46, 48-50 (The Message)
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
Jesus answered, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it?
Then Jesus spoke to her: “[I don’t see you as a sinner].”
That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, [absolving] sins!”
He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The Wisdom of Matthew Fox
“Evil is the shadow of angel. Just as there are angels of light, support, guidance, healing and defense, so we have experiences of shadow angels. And we have names for them: racism, sexism, homophobia are all demons – but they’re not out there.”
Luke 8.27-33 (International Children’s Bible)
“A man…came to Jesus. This man had demons inside him. For a long time he had worn no clothes. He lived in the burial caves, not in a house. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him. The man said with a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus…? Please don’t punish me!” He said this because Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. Many times it had taken hold of him. He had been kept under guard and chained hand and foot. But he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon out into the desert.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” The man answered, “Legion.”(He said his name was “Legion” because many demons were in him.)
The demons begged Jesus not to send them into eternal darkness.
On the hill there was a large herd of pigs eating. The demons begged Jesus to allow them to go into the pigs. So Jesus allowed them to do this. Then the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs. The herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned.
Galatians 5.1 (The Message)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
The Wisdom of Lynn Lavner
“The bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.”
The Wisdom of Keanu Reeves
“People were saying that David Geffen and I had gotten married and it just blew me away. Not that they thought I was gay, but that they thought I could land a guy that hot.”
Luke 9.51-62 (The Message)
[Jesus prepared] himself for a journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “[Teacher], do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” [The person] said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent…!”
Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you…but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s [kin-dom] off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”