Acts 3: Peter and John healing the lame beggar.
Sunday’s sermon was on the healing story in Acts 3. You probably know it. Peter and John command in Jesus’ name that a man born lame stand up. He does. He dances. Everyone’s amazed because a lame person is standing up and dancing. Faith healings often have people abandoning wheelchairs or throwing crutches to dance around stage as part of their “thing.” I’ve always been skeptical.
I’ve been to Coolidge Arizona, between Phoenix and Tucson on the old Butterfield Stage route. It’s south of the Gila River, mostly dry now. Once canals irrigated the crops of the Anasazi community, builders of Casa Grande, still-standing rock and mud building, an accurate solar calendar. Old West Coolidge was the site of Arizona’s first power plant and envisioned itself equal to the Old Pueblo and the new State Capital rising to the north.
I love and care for my LGBT family members and LGBT friends and am very upset about the way modern American Evangelical Christianity is homophobic in the name of Jesus… It has almost made me not want to go to church… and certainly made me very angry at the homophobic Bible bangers and all the damage they do. They preach that all Scripture is God-breathed, then go straight into forcing their personal prejudices into mistranslations and misinterpretations.
Let’s discuss The Book of Wisdom!
It was written in Alexandria, Egypt by a Jewish Greek-speaking scholar during a time of local unrest there (around 25 BCE). Most folks believed in the Cult of Caesar and Jews refused to worship Caesar. Alexandria was a place of great learning, a wonderful library, but nearly constant conflict until the Romans gave up and burned it all to the ground (I wish we still had that library).
It’s a charismatic church that seldom discusses policies or doctrines. The emphasis is the Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. They seek more. Worship is authentic and heart-felt. The community is warmer than most in the PNW. Calls to faith and repentance are left to the work of God’s Spirit, changing lives touched by Love.
Sounds perfect, you say?
I was invited to a Bible Study here at the 55-and-older complex. I’ve been three times now. It’s not a Bible Study. It’s a local Baptist Church’s evangelism outreach to the old folks. In fairness, this church doesn’t use the word “Baptist” anymore. The “study” is in a small paper-backed study guide (published by the Baptists).
Jesus feeds 5000 families (John/Luke).
Also known as the “miracle of the five loaves and two fish.” When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been killed, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place near Bethsaida. The crowds came to Jesus on foot from the towns. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
I have a Facebook Friend named Rasha Foda. She has a blog site called Share Everything. Her vision for a better world is one where people simply share. At first I thought it was about “sharing” information as a way to get around the censorship in the corporate media (which is significant). Her vision goes beyond that.
I’m in a Facebook Group called Buy Nothing (Redmond) which has been divided into three areas due to popularity. I think the whole Buy Nothing movement is growing. You can read about it at The Buy Nothing Project:
The last chapter of Hebrews was probably penned by St. Paul. He did that a lot; dictated or delegated the body then added a personal exhortation and benediction at the end. If you were handed a letter by Mark Twain and another by William Faulkner, you would not need the title pages to know who wrote which. But Hebrews 13 is different. Continue reading
The ancients had a literary form and a language for it we call Apocryphal. Sadly, we’ve lost the skeleton key to decode that language and that literary form. I wish we could discover the actual deeper levels of meaning, too.
The first three chapters of the Revelation of St. John seem to me a little Gnostic, but are otherwise pretty clear. John writes to Seven early Christian communes. People have tried to read something into that: are they seven real communities, seven stages all churches go through, seven eras of history, seven levels of personal faith journeys, or something else? Continue reading