Friday, September 5, 2008

A Recent A-Ha

There's nothing like a new class to start stirring the popcorn in the popper of my head!!

I'm not far along into my Education for Ministry course. Really, I'm just at the tip of the Genesis iceberg having only covered the two creation stories (yes, there are two)...and I haven't even arrived yet at Noah and his Ark (which is apparently one of two flood stories). My brain has been strained trying to make sense of the lineage of Cain after he kills his bro in the field (really bad move), and then uses language that sounds suspiciously like a former Governor of Florida with connections to the White House (that whole: "I'm not my brother's keeper" line is reminiscent of our last Republican Governor's arrogant attitude).

One of the lessons I have pulled thus far is that for the Hebrew people, no one can look upon God and live. And the more I let that thought settle into the hot oil of my brain, the more the heat gradually got the kernels to start popping.

The first thought was, "Well, if the belief system of this ancient group of people becomes one of we can not look at God and live...then of course, carry that forward, those same people many centuries later are going to have fits trying to reconcile the thought that God would not only be visible as this guy named Jesus, but he can be touched, and he can be killed." When I mulled this over, I had a new appreciation for some of the very basic early splits between Jews and Christians over Jesus as Messiah and LORD.

But then a second thought emerged. Jesus spoke in parables. Reason? Look at Matthew 13:

Then the disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets* of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.” With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
“You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,and understand with their heart and turn—
and I would heal them.”
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

This would seem as though Jesus is saying, "There are those who 'get it', those who 'don't get it' and then there are those who long to 'get it', but refuse to 'get it'. And you guys are 'getting it' and hence are closer into the center of this circle that is me." And yet, still, it's only closer, but it's not necessarily a full knowing of all who Jesus is. And that would appear to be some of what Jesus is driving at in this portion of John 16:

‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

From this, I gathered that Jesus is letting the disciples know that even though they have learned from him, and experienced his way and his teachings among the people, they still do not have all of him within their grasp. That much more will be revealed to them: stay tuned, not tuned out!

Jesus and parables: pop.
Jesus and disciples: pop.
Could it be that even in the New Testament, even as Jesus, God is still retaining some of God's knowledge because to know God fully and completely would blow our human brains away? So even with Jesus, we never get to fully look upon all that is God?
Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!

As the saying goes in Isaiah 55: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts".

These ideas keep my mind so jacked up you'd have thought I'd downed a couple of triple mochas with an extra shot!

Nah, it's just popcorn. No salt or butter required. And it's the sort of snack food that I can seem to feast on, and never get tired of it because I keep going back for more.

Geez...and I'm only a few chapters into Genesis......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like I am taking the course with you...I enjoy your explanations and your bible references. Keep it up. And pop,pop,pop, pop to you.