November 1, 2020, John 13:1-15, 34-35 ISSL Reflections Post 3

You may want to return to the Scripture passage to read it again –
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+13%3A1%E2%80%9315%2C+34%E2%80%9335&version=NRSV

VII.
Some congregations reenact this scene every Maundy Thursday, Thursday of Holy Week, the day before Good Friday.

A friend of mine attentened a Baptist church that regarded food washing as an “ordinance” alongside baptism and the Lord’s supper that was to be practiced today. As I recall they had foot washing once a year (but perhaps my memory fails).

VIII.
“You call me Teacher and Lord … you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” John 13:13-14

What’s your thoughts on this?

Is this to be a practice, a religious ritual, in our congregations today? How often? Is it to be something else?

How are you and I to “wash one another’s feet”?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

*the post today was delayed due to a visit from Hurricane Zeta

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November 1, 2020, John 13:1-15, 34-35 ISSL Reflections Post 2

IV.
Read this Scripture passage a few times, taking several minutes between each reading to let the words and images rest in you.

What words and images will not let go of your attention?

V.
John 13:1-15 (NRSV)

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

John 13:34-35 (NRSV)

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

VI.
What if you were at that table that night?
Would you have just been watching what Jesus did, listening to what he said, and sat silently while all this went on?

Would you have something to say as did Peter? Why do you think Peter said what he did?

What would you say to Jesus?

Sit in that room, sit at that table with the disciples watching Jesus as he goes from one to another of the disciples washing their feet then drying them.

Jesus comes to you. How do you feel? What do you see? What do you have to say?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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November 1, 2020, John 13:1-15, 34-35 ISSL Reflections Post 1

I.
We move to the “Upper Room” and the evening and night of the “Last Supper.” Unlike the synoptic gospels’ account of that night, this Gospel does not include the account of the bread and wine but rather Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

As you read (and reread) this passage pay attention to Jesus’ words and actions. How do his words to the disciples (and by extension to us) help us understand his actions and conversely how do his actions give body and weight to his words.

II.
John 13:1-15 (NRSV)

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

John 13:34-35 (NRSV)

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

III.
What do make of what Jesus did and said here?

Was he about teaching theology? Or showing hospitality? Or instituting a ceremonial ritual we are to reenact in our meetings today?

How does it fit together?

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…. during supper Jesus … got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself…. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him…. After he had washed their feet … and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? … You call me Teacher and Lord … you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 25, 2020, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, ISSL Reflections Post 3

A link for this week’s Scripture passage –
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20corinthians%2013&version=NRSV;NIV;LEB;KJV

VI.
In this Scripture passage we read first of what cannot supplant love (vv 1-3), then it speaks to the behaviors of love (vv 4-7) and finally the completeness of love (vv 8-13).

Does that seem to you a productive way to think about, even contemplate, love?

VII.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13

Love never ends…. for prophecies … will come to an end …tongues … cease …knowledge … will come to an end ….. we know only in part … when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end…. put an end to childish ways…. now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

How would you title this paragraph? “The Completeness of Love,” “The End of Love,” “The Epistemology of Love” “Eschatological Love,” or maybe the “Love Knows”?

Is it about the “completeness” of love or about my “incompleteness”?

What do you think needs to be touched today by the completing nature of love?

How completely do you sense you are “known” today?

What is dimming your vision today you can let go of?

Charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 25, 2020, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, ISSL Reflections Post 2

Here are several translations of 1 Corinthians 13 –
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20corinthians%2013&version=NRSV;NIV;LEB;KJV

IV.
“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

V.
Several years ago I was reading a book (sorry, right now I don’t recall the title or the author) in which the author pointed out some passages in Christian Scripture they took exception with.

The above verse, 1 Corinthians 13:7, was one that gave them much trouble.

After all, who in their “right mind” would put up with ALL things, believe ALL things, and especially ENDURE ALL THINGS? Does that make good sense? Aren’t we supposed to work to make the world a better place? If I endure ALL things, how can I make any contribution to the betterment of my small piece of the world?

VI.
In the link above, I have included the New International Version of Scripture which gives this verse as –

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Does that “soften” the verse some? Does it make it more acceptable? Should it?

What do you think?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 25, 2020, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, ISSL Reflections Post 1

I.
Once again we have before us what is to many a very familiar passage of Scripture. It is familiar enough to many to make it all but impossible to to read as if for the first time. But let me ask to read it as if you were not encountering it as several paragraphs found in the “Holy Bible.” How might it be heard apart from its setting in Christian Scripture.

II.
1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

III.
Let’s read the passage again and pay attention to how the writer describes “love.”

Pay attention to both what it says love “is” and what it says love “is not.”

What stands out to as the most obvious description of what love is, and what stands out to you as the most counter-intuitive description of what love is.

Spend some time with the passage and we’ll talk later.

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 11, 2020, Luke 6:27-36, ISSL Reflections Post 3

VII.
In our Scripture, Jesus is asking that those willing to listen, will hear what he has to say.

And, what do we hear? Something we call the “golden rule”?

How do you hear these words of Jesus flesh out the “golden rule”?

VIII.
Luke 6:27-36

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

IX.
“… as you would have them do to you.”

It sounds like Jesus thinks we come to relationships, to life, with certain expectations.

What do you think he expects us to want in life, in the Kingdom of God?

What do you want as a Kingdom resident?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 11, 2020, Luke 6:27-36, ISSL Reflections Post 2

IV.
How do you understand these words from Jesus,

… bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Luke 6:28-30

V.
Do you think Jesus is instructioning his disciples how to live in a future arriving Kingdom of God or in a Kingdom that is already present?

Is he telling us how to treat other members of the Kingdom of God he proclaimed, or is this how he wants his followers to interact with everyone?

VI.
How do you feel about what Jesus says?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 11, 2020, Luke 6:27-36, ISSL Reflections Post 1

First, my apology for getting the lessons out of order. This past week I posted about the Scripture for next Sunday, October 18, and skipped the Scripture for yesterday, October 11.

I now see my error (which started as a formatting mistake in my notes), so for this week, rather than skip the passage for yesterday, I will post some thoughts on Luke 6:27-36. I trust you don’t mind too much.

I.
This passage has some very familiar words, “Do to others as you would have them to to you.”

Take some time to read over the passage slowly several times. Jesus begins by, “… I say to you that listen.” Let’s listen to him today. Listening not to what you expect to hear but to what he says to you.

II.
Luke 6:27-36

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

III.
Now that you have the passage in mind, look through it and pay attention to Jesus’ commands.

What commands do you find?

You might want to make a list of what behaviors Jesus is putting before you. Yes, let’s make a list.

Now read over the list you made and highlight the behaviors that are second nature to you. Or if not yet second nature, at least ones that you practice in your life. Maybe you don’t practice them regularly, but you know they are within your power to do.

Got that?

Ok, now pick out the behaviors that you find hard, or out of range for you to do. Why are these behaviours hard? Do they not make sense to you? Or, maybe it just points to something that is not in your nature?

What do you think?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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October 18, 2020, Luke 10:25-37, ISSL Reflections Post 3

VI.
Jesus is asked a question by a man who already knows the answer.

Rather than providing an “answer,” Jesus asks the inquisitor for the answer, affirms the response, and then does what?

VII.
Not content to leave the matter there, the inquisitor wants Jesus to define his terms. After all, “neighbor” can be an imprecise word, can’t it?

Do we define our neighbors geographically, culturally, racially, ethnically, nationally, economically, by sex, by gender, by theology, or by religious membership?

Jesus offers no definition, only a story, and again asks the one who has come with the questions to provide an answer.

VIII.
This encounter leaves me wondering how often I ask Jesus a question he has already answered?

And even more disturbing, am I ready to go “Go and do ….”?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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