Friday, March 28, 2008

John 19:25-27

Is a part of the Lectionary we read this Palm Sunday past. From the NIV:
“25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ 27and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
Ever the skeptic, it intrigued me. Conventional wisdom says that Christ was referring to John (The Beloved) when speaking to His Mother saying “here is your Son.”, and to John when saying “Here is your Mother.” However, everything pointing to John being there seems to hinge upon the pronoun “his” in the passage: “this disciple took her into his home.”

I can find no other reference to the Apostles being at the Crucifixion and have always recognized Mary of Magdalene as a Disciple (note that I didn’t say Apostle). Searching out the Synoptics, I can’t find any passages to contradict John’s description of those near the Cross. Figured out where I’m headed with this, yet?

Here then, is my heresy. What’s to say that Christ wasn’t speaking to John but to Mary Magdalene when He said: “Here is your Mother.”? The earlier part of the passage can certainly be interpreted as Christ speaking to His Mother in regard to His condition, saying behold, “here is your Son”; rather than instructing Her the Disciple is to be taken as Her son.

Obviously as a disciple Mary was loved by Christ, and is shown to be one of His favorites. I don’t believe that could be argued either. But for the pronoun “His”, there seems only circumstantial support and tradition for Jesus’ speaking to John. I’m not smart enough to translate from the original Greek and even were I so, after 2.67 years of EFM I might be tempted to question the possibility of a recension or redaction somewhere along the line.

The question then becomes: “Where does that leave me?” Truly, I don’t know. What I do know; however, is that Christ was crucified for the redemption of God’s creation. In that simple statement I find the salvation of this world, myself included. And that’s really all that matters, isn’t it? So, I guess I’ll just go home and reread The DiVinci Code.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Location, Location, Location

For as long as I can remember and probably as long as I’ve been Episcopalian, I’ve always sat on the Gospel side of center, at the side aisle, about a third of the way back from the crossing in whatever Church I was attending or visiting. Habits certainly die hard, don’t they?

We have long been members of the old downtown Parish here. Our Church was organized in 1868 and we’ve been in our current location and structure since 1879. That’s only 32 years after Texas Independence and three years after the end of the War of Northern Aggression. Over the years, our historic structure has had several additions since it was first built. It so happens that the extension of the Nave which occurred some many, many years back begins about a row or possibly two in front of where we sit. You can see the joint where the original flooring stopped and where the “new” flooring begins. There’s a seam across its entire width.

While attending Maundy Thursday Services last week, following Communion, during the Stripping of the Altar, my mind wandered a bit. In EFM we’re working on all the different Reformations in Europe in the 16th Century. This, in turn, caused me to consider that much like our house of Worship, I’m somewhere between the past and today: trying to remain faithful to our tradition and yet be cognizant of modern knowledge and reason. And no, I didn’t forget culture, it was omitted for purpose.

That faithfulness presents a hard line to walk, but then that’s probably why I embrace Anglicanism. The Elizabethan Settlement (aka the Via Media or “Middle Way”) seems a successful attempt at bridging differences in the practice of faith while remaining true to fundamental principles of Christianity. Would that we were so fortunate as to have that wisdom and guidance today we would be much the better for it.

Chocolate Eggs and Jesus Risen!

Y'all all have a Happy Eastertide

Saturday, March 08, 2008

So I was bored

So I was bored and took yet another test which told me what I already knew about myself, or at least the way I see myself. Every time I try one of these evaluations I hope to gain some new insight but all I really receive is affirmation. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Your score on this personality test was 45%

Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a longer time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

Personality Quiz
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