It’s all about Food


 

Agent X has this part right.  Man is separated by God and His people by a lunch counter.

Sometime around 1960 when I was around 12 years old, I ran across a lunch counter in downtown Jacksonville that had one section that said: white only and still another which stated:  colored.

For the life of me, this didn’t seem right and so then when I asked about it on the white section side, I was told the reasoning.  Indignant with the answer, I left my stool and went over to the colored section and sat down.

Yes, I was surprised when the ‘negro’ waitress refused to wait on me, saying I was in the wrong section.  However, after deliberating for some time with the waitress and with encouragement from nearby whites, I was eventually waited on and ate my meal in piece.

That was at an infamous downtown Woolworth that later was the scene refer to as ‘Axe handle’ Saturday where protestors were met with the throngs of baseball bats.

In these areas of confrontation, albeit the Passover, an Easter Sunday Feast or on any other occasion, the inclusion or separation of people is always in reference to God.

Food is the subsidence by which we remain alive: along with oxygen and other essentials. However, we must spearhead this all with Our Daily Bread and our daily bread again, comes from God.

So then, this food is both spiritual and physical.  The spiritual food is our standard: that which provides our moral compass to our spirit, soul and body whereas physical food is necessary for our physical body and brain.

In peace, in war and in strife.  Our existence is owed to the fact that God permits our existence.  To that end, we must eat and in most occasions, eat among others.  In peace or in strife depends upon the Lord

We all died on a tree


Galatians 3:13

13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”—

 

At the Garden of Eden, Man fell from the grace of God by biting into the forbidden fruit. A curse was laid at man’s feet for the fruit was produced by one tree that man was forbidden to consume: the tree of good and evil. In at least some capacity here, the tree is perhaps a spiritual tree epitomizing the source of God’s knowledge of the universe.  The consequence for this act, the violation of God’s commandment, eating what God told them not to do, was death.

Upon first notice, neither Adam nor Eve died immediately, but nonetheless, death entered this world and has remained until this day.

Interesting enough, but the Garden of Eden also contained a tree of Eternal Life, and that tree was not approached by Eden’s inhabitants. Yet we discover about two thousand years ago, eternal life was offered, once again by a reference to a tree.

With the death of Christ who hung from a tree, the powerful victory over death was proclaimed.  And in this death, eternal life was granted for those who would believe on the Son of God who was sent to this earth for ransom.

Thus, we see two trees emerge that define history.  The first was the tree that produced sin and a curse, and the second tree produced the gift of eternal life.  In short, Jesus was the mechanism that conquered eternal death.

In the beginning, we find that a fruit, a substance of food cloaked that which was good and instead, install a punishment against man.  Enter Jesus, the Christ and we find another food supplants the initial food, only this time it is good.

Jesus is the living water:  He is the eternal manna.  Jesus’s words are the same as His father’s for Jesus spoke:

“I eat meat which you know nothing about, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Here, Jesus becomes a tree:  Jesus was described as becoming a curse, but he was must more than that for he was a tree.  The tree expresses a genealogy: a continuing history of man. For it is because of the curse that was placed on Jesus and the fact he overcame that curse of hanging on a tree, that death was defeated and everlasting life was established.

Then, the first tree involved a spiritual curse.  The first tree was a spiritual food but it spelled the death of man.  The second tree illuminates the Son of the Living God who died for us in order for our own spiritual food to endure forever.

 

Drive- by Christians


Luke 10:29-37

 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

In drive-byes, the resultant product is mayhem, suffering, death, revenge, grief and generally even more hostilities.

A major consequent of a Christian driving by the extremely poor and homeless is the same.  This is real, genuine suffering we are speaking about with the eventual death of the victim.  In driving by in our autos and boosted up with our Bluetooth, cell phones, and air conditioning, our experience in opulence does nothing for those who are in such desperate need.

For the woman we glimpse at shifting through the garbage cans:  that listless woman, that no-account is someone’s mother.  More than likely that useless bum, that man is probably a father and a military veteran.

And so then, what is it that I seek?  Do I ask you to give all these people a house, to put them into your homes? No, that is not my request.  My request is for the Christian to treat these people with compassion, with love and to stop:  to get to know them and assess their needs as our Lord, Jesus as instructed us to do.

A drive-by performed either by bullets or by neglect produces the same effect.  The only difference is that with neglect, death is longer and prolonged suffering.  I pray for the day when people fail to walk or ride by us wistfully, but instead stop and know who we are as brothers and as children of God—All of whom Christians claim that they are.

A Day of Euphemisms (non-practicing Christians)


A Day of Euphemisms (non-practicing Christians)

I suppose some equivalents of un-documented immigrants would be:

Un-documented Pharmacists = Drug Dealers

Non-practicing Jew = hypocrite (the same as for a Christian)

Non-documented Banker = Bank Robber

Custodian = Janitor

Sanitation Engineer = Garbage Collector

I won’t even go into all the various ‘challenges’ we have in reference to inabilities or disabilities, but the low-down of any or all of this is that we believe that somehow renaming something changes the essence of that entity.  Of course, it does not.

There is no real substitute for the word sinner.  I guess you could refer to them as ‘to be atoned’ or some other stupid phrase as such, but in the end the terrible destruction and deeds performed by such is the same.

How can you make the reference:  God hated Hitler’s Sin, but not Hitler?  The two are the same.  The dumb idea of hating the sin, but not the person was generated by Mahatma Gandhi, but it is NOT biblical.

The idea here is that by separating what people do by changing words, that then somehow or someway, the damage they perform becomes less.  Of course, this is total rubbish. What more is a person that the total summation of their actions?  And when people are no longer able to perform actions, we are usually considered dead for even breathing itself is an action.

Yet, I believe we could argue successfully that a non-practicing Christian is NOT a Christian at all.  Okay, let’s take this to logical extremes for sake of argument.

What is a:

Non-practicing murderer?

Non-practicing Liar?

Non-practicing Husband?

Non-practicing Cook?

You see, we could go on all day with this, but the results do not change.  If it walks like a duck, quakes like a duck, then it must be…

 

 

What is wrong with this picture?


http://100photos.time.com/photos/kevin-carter-starving-child-vulture

What is wrong with this picture?

“South African photographer, Kevin Carter was criticized for his famous Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a starving Sudanese toddler with a vulture lurking in the background. People felt he should have been helping the child rather than taking the photo. Whether his actions were right or wrong will no doubt be debated for many years to come.”

 

I really don’t need to say a thing.  The photo speaks for itself.

Jesus was WRONG!


At least one attribute about Jesus that is so wonderful is the fact that he came down to this earth as a MAN.  This face to face relationship established the personable relationship as it came to God to man.

Whereas Jesus was perfect in reference to His spirit, he was still a man.  As a man, he was able just like you and me to be wrong.

Let’s reason this out.  Whereas some would suggest that Jesus was incapable of doing wrong, i.e., to sin, I maintain that what made Jesus so fantastic was the fact that just like you and me, he failed to sin even though he could just as easily as Adam.  Yes, Jesus was capable of sin but in all ways, he remained in the good grace of His Father.

As a man, Jesus was subject to error in reasoning, which means he made mistakes.  So to speak, if he had been in school taking Algebra, Jesus would not had made perfect scores.  He was human, remember and subject to mistakes.

In one account even, and this is subject to interpretation, even God the Father was even sorry that he had made man and was going to zap them all until Moses ‘reasoned’ with Him.  This suggests that even our Father can make mistakes, but again, this is subject to interpretation.

But when it comes to Jesus, the principle virtue of Him as a man is that He was subject to all things the same as you and me.  If he didn’t have to struggle to endure or pass the test, then there would be no big deal to it.  Yet, the opposite is true.  The only real difference between Jesus or you and me is that Jesus was blameless in reference to sin.

I realize that some would think it sacrilegious to think that Jesus could ever be wrong.  While this might be true and it might also be true that we’re not used to thinking about Jesus in these terms, to think otherwise ignores the greatness of our savior as Jesus’s role on this earth was anything but a piece of cake.  This means that Jesus struggled day to day, not just on the cross and he struggled for he had the failings as a MAN.  And since men must think and thinking can be flawed, there were times then that Jesus was wrong.

Way up There and Down Here


 

The way it is spoken and alluded, we pray to a God who lives way up there in an indeterminable Heaven located, well somewhere far away from here. As Christians, we seek our friend and savior, Jesus who speaks on our behalf to His Father, our creator.

With these facts, we sermonize constantly from the Bible about the life and times of Jesus, His death and resurrection.  Up to this point, I think all would follow me in terms of this basic theology.

Here is the sticking point.  If I understand things properly, then Christ is not some idea or notion of some 2,000 years ago, through our spiritual rebirth process, Christ is to be living inside of us as Christians through His church.

If this is true, and I believe it is, then this also means that Christ is here on this earth now and is alive through His spirit through us, His body the church.

And since this should be a fundamental tenet of beliefs and catechism, then there also should be full agreement of performing the will of Christ and His commandments today.

Yet, this is where we suffer from our cognitive dissonance.  The reality is so far separate and different from our belief system.  Our real, true belief system supports the philosophy that Christ died a long time ago and is with His Father in Heaven so far, far away and removed from our lives.

So then, this is the challenge:  Somehow or so way, we must merge and reconcile the problem of Christ NOT being in our lives.

This is what transcends reality from fiction:  it is the fusion of our belief system into common ordinary principles and experiences that rule our lives.  It also means that at some point we should be forced to confront our doubts, our faiths and speak in plain honesty in terms of what we actually believe.

I think too this is where the world simply fails to take Christianity seriously for even a child can separate the realness from the fakeness of Christians.  In other words, if we are genuine and real and authentic, then the actual, real realness should be surfacing in our actions to others in concrete terms of service to others through love.  Sadly, the weakness of my own intellectual argument demonstrates the futility of my own words.  It comes back to haunt us for once more, we see God way, way up there.  Christ is lost somewhere in the middle and we wander around scattered way down here on earth.

 

 

Look at this Pig


Luke 7:34-36

34The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at this glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and of sinners!’ 35But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” 36Then one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.…

How often have you heard that someone couldn’t picture Jesus smoking a cigarette?  Well, I can’t think of Jesus driving a BMW either or a whole lot of things.

I can’t imagine Jesus operating a cola machine or flying in an airplane or dressing up in a suit or burping out loud or voting or playing a game of basketball or many, many other things that you and I think is natural.

If Jesus were to roam the earth today, yes I could see him drinking a Budweiser or snacking at KFC or even hiking through the Appalachian Trail or downtown huddled with the homeless and unemployed and deranged.

Funny though: I don’t envision him on Joel Osteen’s program, or Kenneth Copeland’s tv show and many, many others.

The real sad part of it is that I can’t imagine Jesus attending really ANY of our churches for truly for the most part, I don’t believe His spirit is there. Heck, they wouldn’t let Him come anyway if he were to bring His beer.

I see Jesus in the hospitals, on battlefields, in droughts and famines, and no, I don’t believe he’d attend any high school proms or visit the World Series.  All in all, I could see him around the burning barrels where workers and the aged and infirm commune together along with, once again, the homeless.

I can envision Jesus with the children.  I see Him in particular with sick children, children all over the world.  And no, once again, I can’t see Jesus rapping or singing country music or any of the other nonsense we do and think is important.  For sure, he’d sing gospel, but it would probably lack the fireworks and smoke bombs and other such staged acoustics and visuals.

I can see our friend Jesus at Joe’s Bar.  I see him with drug addicts and prostitutes and those who suffer and have been crippled by the actions of life.

Finally, I can see Jesus hosting a big, big barbeque, inviting all to come, replete with everything like corn on the cob, beer, iced tea, baked beans and fresh bread and luscious potato salad and great big, chocolate cakes and ice cream.

The children here, the deeds—all of which justifies what Jesus is all about is celebration.  We would celebrate health and food and companionship and goodness and purity and holiness—all demonstrated, illustrated by our friend, Jesus.

Surely, there would be those who would deride him, but for all of us who know His spirit, we would go to His feast just to be around Him if only for a short time.

(Giving Two Mites) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is


 

Luke 21:1-4New King James Version (NKJV)

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,[a] but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

When it comes to giving we generally steer clear of the rich young ruler who was told to divide up his property and to sell it all and give it to the poor.  Why, because we really don’t want to identify with that guy.  As little as we may or may not have, we certainly don’t want to part with all our stuff.

Jesus emphasized the role the widow had who gave all that she had.  In fact, he said that she gave more than all the rest who had given their tithes.

No, I’m not telling you to divide your wealth and to give to the poor, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to part with some of your stuff.  In fact, some of the stuff is more than likely holding you back for a great wealth that comes through the experience of being one-to-one with God’s children.

More likely than not, our stuff separates us from people.  It separates us as we attempt to protect our valuables from others and to denote our prestige among others, our pecking order so to speak.  No one wants to reign at the bottom and so we put on a front to prove the worth of our existence.

Matthew 6:21

King James Bible
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And we all know where our heart is.  Our heart is with our stuff:  it remains with our jobs, our identity, our cars and clothes and latest electronic gadget. It comes with a position in life:  with our family, our personal signature such as our haircuts, clothes and food.  No matter, we tend to gravitate around this for we need constant reminders of who we are.

This is the sole reason for mirrors.  The mirrors teach us, dictate to us who we are.  Even though we are actually located somewhere behind the pair of eyes we see in our reflection, we nonetheless proclaim we are that outward body, that forsaken soul that always comes up short and empty.

The challenge then is to muster up:  give a lot of what you have and witness the joy experienced that when you are broke, you must then become dependent upon God to supply your daily needs.

In the absence of doing any of that:  reduce yourself to giving two lousy mites.  And what would be two mites, today might be the small sum of merely two dollars.  Give that to homeless person and what the joy on his face.  The outcome is somewhere between being stingy and experience the thrill of having given more than anyone else.  For a while we would possess the statue of the widow who only gave her two mites.