Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009

Isaiah 40:21-31

This poetic admonition was written to the Jews in Exile in Babylon .  We talked about what it meant to “wait on (or upon) the Lord”.   DC spoke about the ancient concept that gods inhabit certain geographical spaces and that, being in Exile, the Jews needed to be reminded that their God was with them even in Exile.  Like Jonah, they couldn’t escape him if they wanted.

Waiting implied patience and time spent giving attention to God.  The poem contrasts the vastness and order of the heavens and the “grasshopper” mortality of man.   Isaiah has God scold those in exile who feel abandoned.

AD added tha the promise to renew the strength of those who wait upon the Lord speaks to us to wait upon, or serve,  God by waiting, being patient, letting the Holy  be in our lives on God’s terms and time table.

Corinthians 9:16-23

We asked ourselves “What is it about our experience with Jesus that like Paul,  we simply must share with others.”   PC  recalled Paul’s circumstances, preaching to Jesus followers in small groups, Jews in synagogues, people in homes and in a wide spread territory and that his letters were written not to explain Jesus comprehensively but to answer certain questions and deal with a variety of events.   DC  remarked how “Being all things to all people” now has a negative connotation, as if there were no substance to an argument if it can be altered by circumstance.  But Paul’s message was a deep enough constant that telling it in different ways was not a weakness.  PG  referred to the commentary that suggested that we were called to “walk beside” people in faith rather than try to tell them answers.  Perhaps just being in the spiritual company of others communicates what is Holy.

Mark 1:29-39

AD referred to a commentary she’d read that suggested that Peter’s mother in law may not have been “serving” a meal after her healing, but serving Jesus as an emissary.   If she had been sick, she would have been “unclean”, said another commentary.  That Jesus and the others kept her company exemplifies how they set aside the letter of the law for higher purposes of the law.  PC remarked about healing being the driving out of “unclean spirits” and what that might mean in contemporary times.  We wondered why Jesus chose to stop healing to go pray and then to move on to preach to new neighborhoods when there was healing left.  Perhaps, we concluded, his message of God’s proximity and accessibility, was more important to him than the individuals who benefited from his message.  We also remarked that even the most perfect and holy of human beings needs to pray, to renew his spirit and his direction with Holy guidance. SC tied it all together with the Isaiah passage: “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

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