Along with Holy Communion, we begin our Lenten time with an introduction to what Lent is supposed to be about. And it might not match with the view of Lent which your elders forced on you as a child.
We all know what we were told we were “supposed to do” during Lent, but did anyone bother to give an explanation as to why you should do it, and what you should expect to get from it? Perhaps we can shed a light on that here!
This Sunday’s lectionary includes some of the most powerful scripture, but I’d like to focus on one small part – the blind man by the wayside who called out to Jesus. It shows something about prayer that a lot of us are not taught. In fact, some of us are taught the opposite of what shows here.
Look at this story and every other story in which Jesus healed someone or brought someone back from the dead. One thing, comparing those stories to more modern times, is conspicuous by its absence in the stories involving Jesus. And understanding that will make your prayer more powerful.
With our Holy Communion is a Gospel reading that is familiar to most, but I find challenges me to find more. Like most great writings, there is more to be found if you look.
We see the parable of the sower, who sows his seeds. Very nice, and we know the basic lesson, but is there more? I believe so, especially if we know the difference between a seed and the likes of you and me!
With our Holy Communion, we get an exciting epistle. I’m told that when he was asked what he thought of western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi said “That would be nice”. This is that sort of epistle.
If we would follow its advice, we would have progress beyond our wildest imagination. Our problems stem from the fact that people can read lines like these, but can’t figure out how to do what they advise us to do!
The Presentation In The Temple was the fulfillment of a special rite performed only when the firstborn of a Jewish woman was a male: presentation in the Temple with a special sacrifice. And in this case, the prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna were there to tell Mary and Joseph of Jesus’ most special destiny.
I can only imagine what must have been going through Mary and Joseph’s heads after they heard all that!
Of all of the Gospel readings in the lectionary, the story of Jesus at the wedding feast has to be one of the most fascinating. If for nothing else, because of the questions it asks but does not answer. If the Jews of Jesus’ time were known for anything, they were known for manners and decorum.
That said, why would Mary tell Jesus that the wedding ran out of wine? What business would it be of hers or Jesus’ if they were only there as guests?
The Bible tells us noting of Jesus’ life from the time he returns to Nazareth after the Finding in the Temple until he is baptized by John The Baptist. And for that, it only says he came out of Nazareth
Baptism was not something new; rather John used the Mikvah, a traditional Jewish ritual bath, as a re-birthing much as many Christians see Baptism today. And so, Jesus is baptized and God says he is pleased with His son.
And there is an infinite amount here which we can speculate and imagine about.