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by davesandel on May 13th, 2020

May 13, 2020               (today’s lectionary)


Unless you are circumcised … words from the cautious to the newbies. But not everyone accepts. There arose NO LITTLE discussion and debate. Even in the newly Christian tribe there is a supreme court. They will tell us what we should do. We must trust someone besides ourselves? How can a civilization, a church, a human family function, how can it flourish, otherwise? Send the lawyers, let’s see what the judges say.

No wonder some of us disappear into the woods and settle for hermitism. Read, write, listen, pray, every day. Sometimes I read the newspaper online, sometimes I read the rules. Sometimes I read poems, short stories, essays, jokes.

The comics. The Bible. Those two are really all I need. Everything belongs. Skip the lawyers. Skip the judgment. Can I?

Their trip begins, from Greece to Judah. No planes, no trains, no automobiles. No telegraph, no telephone, no email, no post. Just the camels and the donkeys, and so it took awhile. But when you walk or ride the slow camel, you get to smell the roses. You can visit your friends, you can bring great joy to the brethren with your stories of conversions.

At last in Jerusalem things began well but soon the hovering, lingering, batlike double-breasted dark suited-up Pharisees rained on the parade. Not just wearing but always thinking black or white, phylacteries flying, they sounded unnecessarily loud in these close quarters.

It IS NECESSARY to circumcise them!” Is this what Jesus meant by “pruning?” But he said, You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Going into closed session, the leaders thought and spoke, spoke and thought. What will they decide? Tune in tomorrow (or in the case of our own US Supreme Court, come back in two months).

We have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem. Here are the judgment seats. (Let me not be put to shame.) Let us go rejoicing, rejoicing, let us go rejoicing, and sing the songs of God.

O Lord, in all these days of fear, remain in me. You call me to remain in you and I will bear fruit. Remain in me, Lord, that I may remain in you. You are the true vine. Entwine around me, wrap your green shoots around my arms and my legs. Create in me a green heart, O God.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Pry yourself loose from me and you might be thrown out, thrown on the fire, burnt to a crisp. No, not that, God doesn’t want that. He wants to pour living water on us both, and watch his fruit grow from the flowers, from the buds, from his seed planted right inside. Welcome the planting, welcome the rain (oh, the water, let it run all over me) welcome the pruning, welcome the harvest.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

This is my beloved son, and I am so well pleased.        (Acts 15, Psalm 122, Acts 15)



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