Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Askin'

Hi, PDX!

Whole buncha words have come your way from me. Now it's your turn. Gonna start asking you questions. You tell me what you think. Really! Please... Y'all can respond to one or more of the following. We'll start with three questions, one for each person of the Trinity.

1. Complete this sentence: The goal of the United States of America is__________.

2. At John 10:10, Jesus says he came around so that his followers "might have life and have it abundantly." What do you understand by having life and having it abundantly?

3. Jesus comes back for a weekend and spends it with you. Surreptitiously. No, he's not having the "big second comeback", just hanging out for a weekend for old times' sake. You offer to take him to church with you on Sunday, and you ask if he has a denominational preference. Jesus gets a very puzzled look on his face and says, "Denomination? What's that? Whatever for?" You reply:______________________________.

OK. There you have it. Fire away.....


Pastor Roger

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Double Dude II

Hi, PDX!

My apologies for an absence far longer than I had planned. Our daughter's life has taken a real tumble, and Dad has been called into service to help again. Family. It's what we can still have when all else is gone.

Thomas. Jesus told Thomas, "Do not doubt but believe." That's what we think Jesus said because that's how our English-language Bibles translate the Greek. The above is from NRSV, but most others will be similar. Sounds like flipping the light switch, something you do on your own, something you could do with enough self-help books under your belt--or your bed.

My translation: "Stop becoming unfaithful and instead faithful. Stop becoming a person without faith and instead a person with faith." That's much closer to the Greek, and it might enable us to see a more prolonged rather than instantaneous process here. It's more like going on a journey than simply opening a door that is done in an instant.

Something else that cannot be translated from the Greek to English. The verb is a middle voice verb. English only has active voice (subject is doer of the action) and passive voice (subject is receiver of the action).

In the middle voice, the subject participates in the action. Hmmmmm....? You mean we don't just manufacture faith and believe all by ourselves? No, we don't. It's a journey we go on with Jesus through his Spirit.

Jesus invites Thomas to stop turning away and start turning toward Jesus so that they can go on the journey together. It's a lifelong deal.

Maybe some of you have had instantaneous faith experiences. You are probably a distinct minority in this world. Most of us have the Double Dude experience, and Jesus actually blesses it.

Jesus extends his wounded hand. Take it and start walking along. Start looking for the beginning of that journey rather than thinking you will see the destination before you have ever begun. It's a process. Lifelong.


Pastor Roger