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Start from the beginning

by davesandel on January 2nd, 2017

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Start from the beginning

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Eighth Day of Christmas

1 John 2:22-24

Beloved, who is the liar?  … let what you heard from the beginning remain in you, and you will remain in the Son and in the Father.

Is it 72 degrees where you are today?  I think the thermometer in Austin must be lying.  But the air is clear and clean, and so many folks are outside.  Walking and picnicking and flying their drones.  Fishing and kayaking on the lake.  Two older middle eastern men in corduroy sport coats and ancient mustaches, talking up a storm in a language old as the hills, but not mine.  The sun comes up, and the sun goes down.

This is a day that the Lord has made.

It’s not a day to be sorting out truth from lies … but then, what day is?  A long time ago I realized my chameleon-ness.  What I heard last is what I think next.  Not always, but often enough.  So consequently, my politics and my theology and my opinions … flow.

Because more than one side of things each make sense to me, and my critical mind doesn’t seem to mind.  I mostly live in a high ratio of acceptance to judgment, which makes my expectations less rigid, more fluid and open.  Is this genetic?  We are not all this way. Probably, that’s a good thing.

Someone has to defend the truth.  Once we settle on what that is.  We can read the Bible literally, morally, allegorically and anagogically, all aspects of truth which are not always comfortable with each other.

Jesus’ followers listen to John but also to Gnostics and other folks who see truth differently.  So John asks them, and each of us, to hearken back to “what you heard from the beginning.”  Can you remember what you first knew about Jesus?  Can I?  Can I hang onto that and leave the rest outside?

For many Christians, first theology comes from the Apostles’ Creed.  But for all of us, it’s our experience with Jesus that John is talking about.  If I will read his words, his words will show me how to live.  If I live by those words, my house is built upon a rock.

John wants us to be like Jesus, and live by the commandment of love.  Love God, and love your brother, and don’t settle for anything less.  John is certain of this direction because of his experience, not his creed.  The creed comes later.

Everything tastes better when it’s made from scratch.  Don’t eat someone else’s Christian pudding; make your own.  Put in the right ingredients, stir them up, and trust the oven.  God shows up every time.

Help me stand on your promises, Father.  After the torrents of rain and the screaming wind, let me stand.  Standing firm with the belt of truth buckled around my waist.  Keep my ears open and my mouth shut, and my heart full of gratitude and praise.

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