Saturday, October 1, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Both And

ItalicPsalms 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13) * 33; 2 Kings 19:21-36; 1 Cor 10:1-13; Matthew 8:18-27

In yesterday's Gospel passage Jesus was healing like crazy: the leper, the centurion's servant, Peter's mother, and everyone who gathered around Peter's house. Today our Gospel begins with Jesus looking up seeing the crowd, and there is an unspoken sigh, and he gives the order, "We're going to the other side of the sea, I can't do this right now." And this is followed by his being a bit cranky with the scribe who enthuses "I will follow you forever, I promise!" We can almost see Jesus roll his eyes saying "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests," but I have no were to rest and get away from insincere people like you! A disciple tells Jesus about the loss of a parent and wants a funeral before following Jesus, and Jesus says no, the dead are gone, what use are they to my ministry. They get in the boat and Jesus falls promptly asleep, only to be awakened by panicked disciples concerning a raging storm. Jesus rebukes them and the storm and then goes back to sleep. Crankiness abounds here today. We have a very human Jesus and the divine poking through. Both human and divine inextricably intertwined together.

If ever we had any question about Jesus being fully human, and fully divine, today's Gospel account should dispel those thoughts. He is so human today: tired, fed up with the scribes as well as his followers lack of understanding - and yet he can still "do" things that are unimaginable. Jesus is both fully human, and fully divine. One of the mysteries of this Incarnate One in whom we center our attention, hopes and dreams.

When we get tired and cranky, and perhaps act in ways about which we are not so proud later on, we need to remember that it's okay to be like that on occasion, so long as we strive for the divine side of our nature. We can't calm stormy seas, rocking a boat in which we are sleeping. But if we treat that storm and boat as metaphorical, we can strive to be that calm guiding presence that allows others to settle down and assist in creating the kingdom. We too can be "both/and" even though we are merely human.

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: St. Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, MN, 2011, jfd+

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