Saturday, 28 November 2015
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Mk11v1-2 John Lewis hails the official start of little-donkey-little-donkey season, a time of year marked by widespread openness to metaphor and public hunger for the allusive. Advent waits for Jesus ~ the geocaching jedi, the loose-fit intermediate-technologian, the bricoleur party-planner, the mystery urbanist with an acute sense of magic, and the colt is his metaphor of choice. The colt declares non-violent resistance: you can have political revolution without a million masked marauders. The colt declares unexploitative exuberance: you can have pageantry without power-over. Oh let's have a parade.
Mk11v3-4 Riffing on a donkey I note 2Pt2 in the series we're following, the v15-16 divinely inspired asses that speak to us about our addiction to being less-than. As Christ called the disciples to untie this colt, his intention is to set us free from v19 all the slaveries that have conquered us. Don't be a Ps32v9 stupid mule, be a carrier of Christ.
Mk11v5-6 Oi oi GTA donkey rustlers I see you hauling ass.. No, you misunderstand, this is a biblical mandate for car-sharing schemes. Srsly, we booked it via a cloud based app. Ponder today, what have you got in your garage that *someone else* could use for the Kingdom. Allow it.
Mk11v7-8 Coverings. We tell the world what we value when we ornament it with a covering, like laying a tablecloth. And while there's a time for Ex39 custom-made high-concept fashion, there's also a time for finding the beautiful-to-hand and framing the divine unselfconsciously and unanxiously with whatever presents itself. #hand-me-downs & #found flowers to the glory of God.
Mk11v9-10 Hosanna, as in Ding Dong Merrily.. Verily, its all vowels ecstatic. Out of densely abbreviated constipated all-consonant Hebrew, the Jewish hallels soar silken vowels of breathy bellowed joy, dissolving into preconceptual prelinguistic exclamations, cascading as jubilant glossolalia in Hallelujah's pure tone A E U I A.. And Hosanna, literally translates the supplication Save-Us-Now, but is long since evolved into a Saved-Us-Now declaration, like surplus distress flares let off as fireworks as this make-shift victory cavalcade winds up the hill to Jerusalem.
Mk11v11-12 Hangry Jesus? There's more going on, but it is apt to meditate this morning on the hunger of Christ, He steps into our gnawing, chemical-induced, memory-laden, sensation-craving, world-totalising desperate dependent hunger. There is a hunger behind my hunger, and Jn6v35 He is the place to go with it.
Mk11v13-14 This little figgy's going down, for being all bark and no bite. Am I? Texting mere foliage? Living a life of verdant sterility? Trotman built an entire ministry on the metaphor of fecundity and the biological impediments to childbearing, citing: disease, immaturity and a chaste non-communion. So too, this barren fig tree? Afflicted with busyness and fear-of-man; being too theologically underdeveloped to engage in the discipling labour of spiritual parenthood; abstaining from polleny intercourse of a spiritual nature? While true concerns, it was infact not the season for figs, and so we disanalogise from Trotman's thesis. Jesus has the faux leaves in his sights. At Bethphage (Hb) 'House of Figs', this particular fig tree among the many makes itself conspicuous by making an unseasonal display of leaves. Do I?
Mk11v15-16 Jesus doesn't just disallow active moneychanging in the temple but also the mere carrying of things through the temple courtyard. A helpful call to reflect again on all the ways I am a passive carrier of toxic capitalisms & other ungodly worldviews & practices, by being of the system, by giving it passage through what should be sacred space, by allowing it space, by not resisting. Jesus resists, Jesus re-sanctifies.
Mk11v17-18 If my body is a temple 1Co6v19, where are the outer courts? If I am a priest 1Pt2v9, how am I managing access to the spatiality of God's presence? The temple was intended to be missional, inclusive, hospitable for all nations. My life and resource are meant to be missional, inclusive, hospitable for all nations. But. Those liminal thresholds, the generous porch on the front of my soul, the grace of time and sabbatical space that allows lingering-alongside with the rightly inquisitive: I clutter these zones with the business of busyness, I close the borders and sublet the living room, I cost-engineer a stream-lined and privatised life, and so, by degrees, the market economy dis-places the gift economy. If we are to bring 'em all in, we will first need iconoclasm to restore civic space, as a nation, and as a household.
Mk11v19-20 It is good to know that Jesus destroys things as well as creates. These ugly fruitless pathologies which are wound into and around my being - Jesus can wither them. And not only that, but wither them to the root, to the first point, the first habit, hurt and hunger from which it grew.
Mk11v21-22 Have faith, but how. Figgy in a pickle, or even a fig jam. Stuck sticky stalled viscous sap in vein coagulated to a coronary full stop clot. So clenched, my closed clasp grips a crisp cut metal twist. I cannot forgive (v25) what isn't past. I will not hope for (v24) what cannot change. Former tree faithless, bitter seeds poison leaves withered, is driftwood floating underwater, is kindling (Jn15v6).
Mk11v23-24 Pray believing that you have *already* received? Because there is always a deeper prayer behind the prayer? Because the answer to all prayers is God Himself? Because he has 2Pt1v3 already given everything we need for life & godliness? Because we trust the healer and not the healing, the creator and not the creation? Or is this a tidy way of trying to sanitise this verse? Taken seriously it wouldn't be. I believe, help thou my unbelief.
Mk11v25- Unforgiveness. We're traders holding debt portfolios, I have no intrinsic networth, only what people owe me, I've printed money in the form of tabulated petty grudges, and I'm speculating on IOUs. Looking to God the great reinsurer, the cosmic quantative easer, hoping that He will help my liquidity ratio, and prop up my financial instruments.. Let it go.
Mk11v27-28 As you spoke picture-words about the kingship-authority of Christ, the tree sprung into life & I caught a glimpse of it, the divine authority that is self-evidently glorious. The Pharisee's causal question can still be asked, & has an answer: trintarian superabundance. But it's the wrong question, & Jesus jousts with them show the right response is to put oneself in the way of the authority that bids me to life and bloom, & submit to its joy.
Mk11v29-30 Answer me. Jesus' semantic tit for tat, a rhetorical riddle-me-this, messiers: would you still have broken the vase? And what is baptism? And what is of-ness? 'Baptism' here functions as metonomy for JtB's total ministry. So then, Phil's 'baptism' - whence comes its effective power and whence comes its symbollic-liguistic power. There is a point source, or there is a crowd source. Does my life gain its validated legitimacy from the mob, or from beyond? And do I care who cares?
Mk11v31-32 Comfort-seeking vs reality seeking. Both of these are looking for a certain 'fit'. The Pharisee's former is like trying to hack down a peg to fit into a pre-ordained size of hole, manipulating and maiming the peg, and ending up with something that is kind of clumsy anyway. Vs the kind of fit that is discovered, that contribute nothing to other than picking it up and trying it to see...the peg that clicks perfectly into the right hole, like a jam jar lid or magnets clicking together without me. The latter is a better joy.
Mk11v33 'Cannot tell' (KJV) ~ Saviour, saviour? I know you aren't so what am I? Genius Jesus jiu jitsu shaming us to face our whitewashed actual-worship, to face what we omit to admit we emit, he dynamites our DADT defeat device. The Pharisees function to illustrate particularly collective forms of Christ-avoidance, joint inattention, irreducibly group modes of organised sin-by-self-censorship. You are culpable for culture's unasked questions, you are culpable for taboos, for no-platforming, for the dilution and debasement of language that deflect questions of divinity with semantics. In this world, there are those who 'cannot tell' and there are those who Ac4v20 'cannot but tell'. Can lah, can lah, can lah.