Posts Tagged ‘time’

nothingLevi is snuffing out the candles and it’s about to be pitch black. The disciples and others are feeling a little weird because Jesus has asked them to spend the night IN THE HOUSE OF A TAX COLLECTOR! People of all sorts are scattered throughout Levi’s villa in Capernaum.

Today was his last day as a tax collector.

Levi: Anybody need a cover or something? Bathroom’s out back, to the left. There’s water in the icebox.

Peter: Jesus, you know we (motioning toward the other disciples) can stay at my house, nearer the water… (mumbles to himself) ‘Levi’s’ villa — ‘Taker’s’ villa — got that right.

Jesus: We’re fine Peter. Besides this place is bigger and cleaner than your place. Smell the lavender?

Nathaniel: Is it good for us to be in this place all night? What will the neighbors think? There are women here…and the Pharisees — they’ll talk about this forever.

Pharisee: I heard that! I’m taking names!

Jesus (with authority): Everybody! Listen up! This is a good place and a good time. Follow my instructions. Be absolutely quiet. (They hear the sound of nightingales, trickling water, a breeze through the hall and crickets.)

Now, here’s complete silence… (and the room goes completely silent — no sounds at all — eerily quiet).

Peter (uncomfortably): Master, please quote us some Isaiah…or, what’re tomorrow’s plans? Fishin’?

Jesus: Shhh. Turn off all the noise and listen. Open your eyes and see the nothing around you.

They all lie in absolute silence in the darkness. A deep, holy peace settles on the group.

Jesus (quietly): Before the universe was created, there was this. Nothing. And it was all God — the Father, Spirit and me. And it was all NOW. We made everything, placed it in time, and it still didn’t fill us up. There’s still more nothing than something out there — you cannot comprehend. Plus, all past, present and future are only perceived now. NOW. Everything is the lessor part of me!

Peter: I’m lost.

Jesus: Exactly. My gift to you is now. Enjoy it. When you cancel out all the noise, ideas, distractions — everything. What’s left is you and me. In my emptiness I bestow the deepest peace and love for which you might hope. When you are lost, I am found. When you are empty, I am there. When you are full, I am there. I am. My presence is a consuming fire! You lose and find yourself in me.

Levi (thoughtfully): So, no matter where we find ourselves and no matter the circumstances, we have the gift of ‘now’ from you if we shut out all the noise and pay attention? Hmm. I’ll ‘take’ that, or my name’s not Levi!

Jesus (quietly smiling): Beginning now, I shall call you, ‘Matthew’ — ‘gift of God’ — your story will be a gift to many. In life or death — something or nothing. I am. And I am with you. The past no longer exists and the future has yet to come. Right NOW, I am with you. Do not neglect the salvation to be found in this moment. Follow me, Matthew.

Matthew: I do.

Jesus: Seek nothing more.

Tr8: Right now, experience Christ. Live him in this moment.

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jesus calendarJohn Mark is passing through town and spends the night with John in Ephesus, not very far from the amphitheater and library. Mary has passed away, but the church in Ephesus is going strong.

Mark: Did you hear about the Temple?

John: What?

Mark: Titus’ troops destroyed it last year. Just like Jesus said.

John: Yep. He called that one. Had a letter from Matthew and he mentioned it. He’s in Antioch or headed for Syria.

Mark (smiling) So, guess what year it is.

John: Why are you smiling?

Mark: Guess!

John: Hmmm. According to the Hebrew calendar today is the 19th of Adar I, 3830. Of course it depends on whose calendar you’re using. The Romans don’t think it’s next year yet. Then you have Syrian, Greek and old Hasmonean calendars. Every new king or Caesar starts the calendar over (mumbling) …carry the two…divide by 4…(counts on his fingers)… Does anyone really know what time it is?

Mark (singing the Chicago tune): Does anyone really care? About time?

John (singing back): Oooh, nooo…

Mark (smiling): Barnabas says every time Jerusalem falls, we get a new calendar.

John: Yeah, that’s right.

Mark: So, he figured Jesus, as the reigning Messiah, gets to start a new calendar.

John: Makes sense.

Mark: Peter and Paul agreed, so I’m making the rounds handing out these new calendars. Check out the picture! We’re gonna mark time from Jesus’ birth. Therefore, the year is 71.

John: Uhm. I’m pretty sure he was born in 3756 or 57, not 3760. Pretty sure. Mary’s told me…3760 is about when they got back from Egypt and moved to Nazareth. I think your calendar’s off a few years.

Mark: Nuts! So, you’re saying it’s, like, 74? Wasn’t Jesus 33 when he was crucified?

John: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, You calendar has him being crucified at 30.

Mark: Are you sure?

John: Almost positive.

Mark: Well, what am I going to do with all these calendars? Plus, I’ve already handed these out in Rome, Macedonia and sent boxes to Egypt and Gaul.

John: It’ll work out. What’s a couple of years, anyway?

Mark: I suppose. Wish we’d have talked with you first.

John: Don’t worry. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. In Jesus, everyone finds a new start. Old things are gone, all things are new. This calendar is pretty impressive.

Mark: Yeah, had ’em made at Delvecio’s in Rome, near the fortress. Of course, they screwed the order up, they’d never heard of a week — put the Sabbath on a Sunday and went solar instead of lunar.

Tr8: Christ makes all things new. If he can restart time for the entire Earth, what might he do for you?

It’s 8:30 and Jesus is at Starbucks ordering a grande French roast, black, and a whole wheat bagel with creme cheese. He’s supposed to meet with Peter, Andrew, James, John and Nathaniel at 8:30 for coffee and bagels.

Maggie (barista): Back again?

Maggie hands Jesus a grande Pike’s Peak blend and plain bagel. He takes them over to a table where a bunch of guys are seated. Just then Nathaniel comes through the door.

Nathaniel: Whew! Missed the bus. What time is it?

Jesus: 8:30. Right on time. Have a seat over there (Jesus hands a mocha light and an ‘everything’ bagel to Nathaniel).

Nathaniel: Thanks!

Peter (walks through the door, sees Jesus and Nathaniel): Hey, Jesus, Nathaniel. Where is everyone? What time is it?

Jesus: 8:30. Have a seat (an Americano and apple fritter are on the table next to Nathaniel).

Nathaniel: Hey, Peter! Coffee’s still hot. Jesus just brought it over.

James Zebedee (with John behind him): Sorry, guys, John forgot his phone and we had to run back to the apartment. What time is it?

Jesus (points to a table where Nathaniel and Peter are seated): 8:30. You nailed it (Maggie hands a Coke and cinnamon coffee cake to James and Jesus hands a vente Sumatran and cinnamon roll to John).

James: Hi, Maggie! Business good?

Maggie (smiling): Great! Thanks. Hi, John.

John (waves): Morning, Maggie.

Andrew (rushing through the door, nearly tripping): Wow! Did you see the cart wreck on Dirt and Third? Traffic was backed up to the Temple. Two lanes closed. Sorry to be so late. What time is it?

Jesus: 8:30.

Andrew (looking at the guys sitting with coffees and food and an empty seat with a coffee and bagel waiting): Thanks for ordering for me.

Jesus: No problem: I got you a double-espresso with cream, a plain bagel, toasted, with lite creme cheese.  We’ve a minute or two before we begin. I’m going to get another coffee and bagel. Matthew’s gonna pop in and I’ll ask him to join us. He thinks he’s supposed to be at traffic court at 9:00.

Matthew (walking through the door): Hey! What a surprise! Hi, guys, Maggie. And you got my favorite — Pike’s Peak and plain bagel? Cool!

The gang talked for a half-hour or so about the afternoon’s food kitchen project. Matthew rises to go to traffic court.

Jesus: Matthew, take a few more minutes. It’s only 8:30.

Jesus stands and walks over to the counter.

Maggie: Good morning! How can I help you?

Tr8: Jesus controls time and he knows what you need. You have enough time to do as he wishes and he’ll provide what you need to do it.