Archive for May, 2013

revolutionariesJohn and Andrew are leaving the post office. They had just picked up a package for John’s mother — a carrot peeler from K-Tel.

John: I talked with James and Peter. I think we can force Jesus’ hand.

Andrew: You mean, you think he’ll come out as Messiah if we put him in the right situation?

John: Yeah. Peter has no doubt Jesus IS the Messiah. We all think so. He’s fulfilled all the prophecies and we’ve seen him heal, calm the water, feed thousands and speak with absolute authority.

Andrew: If there was ever a king, it’s him. You can tell by the way he handles himself. Nothing — NOTHING – seems to ruffle him, except the Temple guys. He gets ticked off about their legalism. They need to realize a few eggs have to be broken to make a new Jerusalem.

John: Straight up. I know a servant of one of the chief priests. Judas and I are trying to get Jesus and the leaders to bury the hatchet and rally the people. Every time it looks like we’re ready to go, Jesus splits us up with his preaching.

Andrew: Right. We have to stop fighting among ourselves if we every hope to defeat the Romans.

John: We’ve gotta get Jesus to ramp up and clarify the call. More will follow him if he’ll go ahead and make the call clearer.

Andrew: Peter asked Jesus to meet us at the MacDonalds on the square. He’s gotten Judas to gather some of the synagogue guys and Simon’s rounded up his former group of freedom fighters. One of Matthew’s friends in Roman security says the Romans are going to do a “bow to Caesar or die” traffic stop next to Micky-Ds near the fountain. And we plan to have Jesus there.

John: That’s bound to work. Jesus won’t bow to Caesar. No way.

Andrew: Yeah, no way.

They turn the corner and almost trip over Jesus feet. He’s sitting at the corner with Murphy, the non-disciple.

Jesus: Hey, guys! Figured you’d be along. Did’y’get the carrot peeler for Salome?

John (looking at Andrew): Uh, yeah. Right here.

Andrew: Yeah, hey, Jesus. Murphy.

Jesus: Have a seat. Let’s talk.

John and Andrew: Sure.

Jesus: Andrew, who do you say I am?

Andrew: Why, I agree with Peter, you are the Messiah. The Son of God. Our liberator.

Jesus: Hmmm. What if I asked you to die for me?

Andrew: Lord, we were just talking about that! I’d die for you — and — we have tons of friends and others who will follow you all the way to Jerusalem or even Rome.

John: Master! We want to see your kingdom soon! PLEASE! We and others are ready to die for the cause.

Jesus: My kingdom IS here, RIGHT here. With me, you ARE in The Kingdom.

John: We know that, Jesus. We just want to expand your kingdom. It’s time!

Andrew: Yeah, it’s time!

Jesus (smiling sadly while shaking his head): You guys follow me. You listen. You serve. You even heal. Yet, you don’t see.

John: Don’t see what? Tell me! We see you are the King of Kings! Let’s move it to the next level.

Jesus: John, the next level is down.

John: What?

Jesus: Yeah, the next level is downward. The Son of Man came to minister, not be ministered unto. As Isaiah said, I’m a  suffering servant-king. We shall establish God’s kingdom on earth, but we make war by surrendering. I, the Son of Man, the Chosen One, the Messiah, shall reign in the fulness of love and truth.

John: Exactly! Let’s get down, then. Hooo-yaaaah! You are Lord!

Andrew: Right on, Jesus!

Jesus (gazing at both): Love you guys, but really…when I say ‘kingdom,’ it doesn’t mean what you think it means. The war you anticipate? It’s over. It’s won. Bury the swords, join hands, dance and love one another. You, too, or two, are sons of God, and though it doesn’t yet appear so, you shall be like me. So, be like me.

John: So, we’ll see you MacDonalds this evening?

Jesus (sighing; he and Murphy rise): We’ll see. Murphy and I are going up in the mountains to pray for a while.

John looks at Andrew and frowns.

==

Tr8: Don’t force Jesus’ hand, relax and let him do what he’s doing.

(Based on John 6:15)

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fear-loveJesus waves his disciples in at the baseball diamond in Capernaum’s city park. Jesus’ team was shut-out by Peter’s team.  Peter’s team comes out of the dugout celebrating.

Jesus (sitting on the mound): Some of you think the opposite of love is hate, but the opposite of love is fear, worry and doubt.

Judas (excited): So, it’s okay if we hate our enemies, after all?

Jesus (popping Judas with the ball): Really? No. The thing is, God is love – the Father and I are one – what he is, I am – which is love – right here and now. You’ve been playing ball with God on a couple of levels – with me, with us in you, and in our park, which is God, too. We all come together in unconditional love. No fear here.

Peter: Jesus, now that you mention it, and this is crazy, but I never worry about being acceptable anymore. Your unconditional love zaps worry and fear.

Jesus: I’ve noticed how you’ve loosened up. We have so much more fun now that you aren’t obsessed with yourself. That’s the way God’s love works. It dispels doubts and fears – totally. You are my disciples, so you know and abide in my love and know no fear. This will serve you well in the future. We are inseparable.

Thomas: I know you love me, Jesus, but what if…

Jesus: …you don’t measure up? Worry wart.  You are not unworthy. I have decided this for eternity. Quit thinking about it. Act in light of your redemption, not your sin. This is going to sound too ‘new age’ and cosmic, but here it is: In the final reel, God is what is and is not and when time ends nothing is wasted and we win. Everything has a purpose and a place under the sun. Your hope, peace, joy and grace is to see God in your situation. In every situation God bestows graciously.

Simon: Yes, I remember how Murphy nearly broke his neck when he fell off the scaffolding – only to discover how truly blessed he was.

Jesus: Just so. Paradoxes: first is last, life is death, to get is to give, to meek is strong, to keep is to let go, to thirst is to be filled, to lose is to win, to submit is to persevere and to love is to not fear. Of those, not fearing appears to be the hardest thing for you guys. Listen! There is no fear in me. I have your back. Totally. You are absolutely free to be me. The Kingdom of God is here – in us – timelessly.

Thomas (hands to his head): Lord, help my unbelief!

Jesus (tenderly): Aw, Thomas! You try to carry the world on your own shoulders. Let it go. I, we, have it. Together. Trust me. You have no problems I can’t fix. I have you unconditionally. The power that is in me is also in you, but fear and worry will do it’s best to defeat your love.

Thomas: I get so afraid sometimes – everything from big stuff like death or establishing your throne or getting blisters from these new Nike sandals.  It’s like I’m programmed to doubt and worry.

Jesus: Thomas, ‘The Fall’ started doubt, misgivings and fear. Eve’s error was, ‘I fear I may be missing something.’ I am redeeming the world from fear. I have come that you might have life – without worry – free and abundant. Follow my way – I AM the way to get past fear – be in me, be me. Consider the lilies and the sparrows. You and I really are one. We are joint heirs, children of the Father, you are in him as I am. The difference is, I know it, you don’t – yet.

James: What about the Pharisees?

Jesus: Good question. The Pharisees don’t bother me so much because they are wrong, but because they are fear mongers. All sorts of evil and meanness comes from fear.  Solomon was right, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ –  but not the end. The end of wisdom is love. We all discover God’s love in our fear. Once in the Father’s love, fear is dismissed. That’s faith. The Pharisees are not only mean and fearful, they cause others to doubt their acceptance before God. Fear is hell. Purveyors of fear will die in their fear unless they come into the Father’s love. It’s the light and darkness thing – how sad to choose to live in darkness!

Peter: Blessed are you, Jesus, and us, too.

Jesus: Yep, I’m blessed. Go and do likewise. Make disciples.

Tr8: Cast fear aside and walk confidently in love.