Friday, August 27, 2010

So where do I sit?

Have you ever noticed that when you attend a wedding reception, go to a restaurant, or even simply visit with some friends over dinner that one question always comes up. "Where do I sit?" Apart from the fact that we often do need to have a place at the table so that we can eat, there is also the need to find our place...our space...and in that way define ourselves and locate ourselves within the particular setting of that moment.

Jesus challenges this attitude and question in Luke 14:7-14. He ties the idea of finding our place with the call of discipleship to deny ourselves. In 1st century Jewish culture, to deny self was to cut yourself off from all that identified you such as family, geographic location, social status. Truth is things are not much different today and so the call to discipleship is just as challenging now as it was 2000 years ago. This challenge also effects the way we perceive ourselves. Luther, in his commentary on Romans, said, "We need to do good works because our neighbor needs them." How often do we do good works because they make us feel good about ourselves? How often do we concern ourselves with being blessed, rather than about being a blessing to others?

Funny how it all seems tied up with the question posed by this story from the life of Jesus... "So where do I sit?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bent out of shape....

Luke 13:10-17 records the meeting between Jesus, the bound woman, and the Pharisees. The woman had remained 'faithful' despite her affliction and her healing inspired her praise to God. The Pharisee had remained 'faithful' to the traditions and was upset by what he saw as Jesus' flagrant disregard for the traditions.

It raises a couple of questions. Both the woman and the Pharisee were faithful in their own way. At the same time both the woman and the Pharisee were bound in their own way. It would appear at the end of Luke's account that only the woman was freed.

What binds you??? What weighs you down???

And then there is always that other question...Do you really want to be freed????