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Do, Lord?

by davesandel on May 9th, 2020

May 9, 2020                 (today’s lectionary)


Do, Lord?

The whole city gathered. We are unable to gather except in our homes, around the wireless, around the battery-powered radio, listening to Grand Old Opry on WSM, to Fireside Chats, to a Baptist preacher. “Turn the Radio On.” No, that was then, and this is now … we circle around a Zoom service, or a Facebook Live service, or a YouTube service or TryChurchOnline service.

We don’t have to tend the fire, not yet anyway. Gas and electric power still run smoothly into our homes. What we DO do is sing a few songs with the guitar, our homemade worship richer for us than anything we can get curbside, and share our communion with Manischewitz wine and gluten free crackers. Without another person communion does not seem like much. Jesus is present, but no one else, and that defeats some of the purpose. I miss you!

“Whenever you eat or drink this (TOGETHER), do it in remembrance of me.” I know that word isn’t there, but maybe it should be.

The Jews were jealous of the crowds. I wonder if we’ll return to country-church-sized congregations after all of this. We can gather as groups of 10, then 50 … will the limits get much bigger in the next year?

I love the kinships in our smallish church. I miss that gathering more than I miss the crowded stadium or sold-out auditorium.

The Jews expelled Paul and the others from their territory, and shaking the dust of their feet they left full of joy and the Holy Spirit. And did the expellers feel better when they no longer had to listen to the preachers? I suppose so, but I’ll bet they were also bored. The need to be angry, to hate, to complain might just have turned toward others. What fills the void when truth and love and healing and holiness and gentleness and peace are rejected? When the spirit’s fruit is left on the table untouched and unaccepted, left to rot, what takes its place?

No matter, the Gentiles have been touched and saved, and Paul will do the same in the town down the road. The Christians are coming!

Sing to the Lord your new song, the Christians are coming! God’s right hand has won the Victory which will be felt at all the ends of the earth, every corner, all the far off and adjacent lands. Break into song!

When Jesus was a child, he spoke like a child. But now he is older and is done with childish things. He knows the psalms and all the Scriptures. He wishes his disciples had been students instead of fishermen when they were kids.

Have I been with you so long a time, Philip, and you still don’t know me? Jesus sighs heavily. How can you say, “Show us the Father?”

Jesus often quotes the scriptures. And he often quotes the Father, whether or not he can find it in the scriptures. The words I speak are not my own. My Father dwells in me. He speaks the words, he does the works. My Father! I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

And then, right in the 14th chapter of John, out pop the words I’ve heard Jesus say over and over again right into my own life:

Whoever believes in me

Will do the works that I do

And will do greater ones than these.

I can almost hear the gabbling on my lips, “Surely not me, Lord,”and my eyes opening as wide as the eyes of grandson Jasper, “I’ve always been glad to let you lead,” and my heart fluttering, “I have no idea how to do this!” and the muscles in my arms getting stronger and softer at the same time. “What did you just say, Lord?”

What do you want from me? What else do you want me to do for you? Haven’t I already done it, David? You are free, you are empowered, you are entitled to this “divinization” you cherish so much in your mind. Just do it. Go and be like me.

Maybe you were just talking to your disciples, the ones in the upper room with you. Maybe John heard you wrong. Ya think?

Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.

If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.

So. David. Go into all the world. What do you want me to do for you? (Acts 13, Psalm 98, John 14)


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One Comment
  1. Susan Jakoby permalink

    Phillip says: “Show us the Father.” Jesus says: “You’re looking at him.” Moses says: “Show me your Glory.” God says: “If we’re really careful, I can show you where I just was.”

    Is Jesus, (are we?) where God just was? Are we what happens when God passes by?

    That would be a greater thing.

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