From the Pastor’s Desk, 5/23/22

When in doubt, throw it out,” is a familiar mantra that comes to mind when we are looking at a container of food in the fridge of which we are uncertain of the date when it first arrived there. Another familiar mantra is “turn around, don’t drown” when coming face to face with areas that are flooded which under normal circumstances are easily traversed. The emphasis is safety. Be careful. If danger is present, remove it or move away from it.

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From the Pastor’s Deks, 5/9/22

   I’m nearly finished reading Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination by Eugene H. Peterson. I consider the book to be one of the best I’ve read on understanding the book of Revelation. Peterson views the Revelation not as some futuristic world event yet to happen with fantasy-type events, but more so as a commentary by John on the present reality of the time. With this view, we have the opportunity to understand the book as a relevant commentary on our present-day challenges. I recommend Reversed Thunder as a helpful commentary on a difficult book to grasp, and as a helpful to considering our response to present day challenges.

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From the Pastor’s Desk, 5/2/22

Exile is the experience of powerlessness, in extremis. Everything is determined by another. We are removed from where we want to be and whom we want to be with. We are isolated from place and persons. We are victims. The worst punishment possible in ancient Israel was banishment. To be separated from family and country, from community worship and family faith—that was the cruelest decree. The severest judgment that the nation experienced was exile to Babylonia. A person created for personal relationships of love cannot live adequately without them. Exile dehumanizes. It sentences us to death by bread alone. “On the island called Patmos” Rome showed St. John who was in charge. Every lonely hour on the barren rock was proof that Rome determined St. John’s destiny, that Rome’s word was the final word on his life, that Rome’s decree set the limits within which he was permitted to exist. St. John was alone, powerless, and bereft. –from Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination, Eugene H. Peterson (Harper Collins, 1988) pages 88-89

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