Schedule for Good? – Good News for January 19

19 01 2011

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.”

Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent.

Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand. He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

The Daily Path: Is my schedule for doing good based on personal convenience?

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Sabbathical – Good News for January 18

18 01 2011

Mark 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”

He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?”

Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”





Traps – Good News for September 6

6 09 2010

Luke 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there.

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

The Daily Path: My response to reading this passage is always something like: “How can these scribes and Pharisees not understand that the teachings of Jesus? How obvious can it be?” But upon further reflection I also ask myself why is it so hard to love as Jesus does? Am I not just as guilty as the scribes and Pharisees when it comes to setting traps for those who don’t fit within my own rigid parameters? Do I gossip? Do I perpetuate untruths or unfounded stories that cast a negative light on someone? Why is it so easy to be a trapper, but so difficult to be a healer?

Rather than resting on this Labor Day, perhaps I need to pursue the labors of Jesus’ love.





The Man Who Made Me Well – Good News for March 16

16 03 2010

John 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’“

They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”

The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

The Daily Path: If you were to ask me “What brought on this sudden re-conversion after thirty years?” My answer would be “Jesus was the one who had made him well.”





Eye Wash – Good News for March 14

14 03 2010

John 9:1

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam”, which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is, “ but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”

So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again,  “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

Daily Path: It’s Sunday… will you cleanse your eyes and see the Lord?

Room to Chat: I do believe, Lord.





Me Agenda – Good News for January 20

20 01 2010

Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.

He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent.

Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

The Daily Path: How is it that these Pharisees could completely overlook the good in such an amazing miracle? The fact that a man was relieved of his suffering didn’t matter in the least. They were blinded by their own agenda and ego.

It’s not comfortable to think about all the times I’ve done the same thing. An assistance condemned because “me” was in a bad mood or it wasn’t exactly what “me” wanted. When will I learn?

Room to Chat: The suffering continues in Haiti.





The Rules – Good News for January 19

19 01 2010

Mark 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”

He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?”

Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

The Daily Path: When my children get hungry, they go to the kitchen and search for something to eat. As is the case in many households, there are “guidelines”. For example: “You can’t have a cheese sandwich right now. You’ll spoil your dinner!”

As I read Mark’s Gospel, I thought about the rules associated with religion. A lot of it sounds like: “You can’t do this. You can’t do that. You can do that, but only this way.” If we are hungry along the journey, why not stop and find nourishment? Will we spoil our dinner if we partake in a spiritual sandwich along the way? Is Cafe Jesus only open for lunch and dinner? Do we have to wear a coat and tie to be seated?

Yes, I know. We need rules. But as I think about the spiritual hunger within me, it seems that there is more call for just a cheese sandwich. The ones that are simply wrapped in plain brown paper by His hand. The sandwiches that are there when I get hungry at all hours. The ones that have a little label that reads: Pharisee Free