Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 20, 2014 Matthew 22 (18)

The host was to provide a wedding garment and if someone comes and refuses to wear the garment he insults the host. We had a discussion of wedding practices. Mark has a practice of agreeing to marry only couples from the church he is serving, so has turned down a former parishner of his who is now in California. He asked our advice, but didn’t get much response. Chuck brought up the Ohio bomber who had been baptized but became Muslim. Is he still baptized. Yes!! We then talked about excommunication and how it affects an individual. But Jesus said we should seek out these people to save them. Even after excommunication, people become like the tax collectors in Jesus’ day and should be sought out and cared for.

The discussion about whether you should pay taxes or not may be about separation of church and state. God provided government to keep order and we need to support that.

Pharisees believe in resurrection but it is a sort of preservation of matter. There was a discussion of science and Tom talked about gene editing. Matthew pushes the point that heaven is how we treat each other. It is not necessary a place we go after death Matthew is the only one that talks about the Kingdom of God and its implications for this life. Other gospels like that of Magdalene and Thomas also talk about this.  Tom will send a blog from his daughter talking about being a good Senegalese wife.

The long drawn out discussion about who a wife who was passed between 7 brothers would be married to in heaven was  an attempt by the Sadducees to trick Jesus into making the wrong response. They were trying to mock the whole idea of resurrection because they didn’t believe in it.

Whose son is Christ. Is he really saying that they don’t believe Mary was a virgin so Jesus would be a descendant of David through Joseph.

January 13, 2015 Matthew 21 (17)

Today, we read of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and then his disputes with the chief priests and scribes. It is similar to what we have seen in the last few chapters, however, it holds together because his visit to the temple sets things up for a confrontation with the chief priests and scribes, the rulers of the temple.

We had been having an email discussion about Islam, and I took the liberty of quoting a book, No God but God by  I have been reading about Mohammad who did a similar thing to the rulers of the Mosque in Mecca. “In Yathrib, he categorically outlawed usury, the abuse of which was one of his chief complaints against the Meccan religio-economic system. To facilitate the new economy, he established his own market which, unlike controlled by the Banu Qaynuga, charged no tax on transactions  and no interest on loans. He also instituted a mandatory title called zakat, which every member of the Ummah had to pay according to his or her means. Once collected, the money was distributed as alms to the community’s neediest members. Benevolence and care for the poor were the first and most enduing virtues preached by Muhammad in Mecca.” He appears to be in conflict with the ruling people about how women were treated as well.

We also discussed the fig tree which Jesus condemned. It appears to be a matter of Jesus being angry with the tree and therefore he condemned it. However, it appears that scholars have turned this into a measure of faith in terms of what Jesus and his followers could do. It is also a way of striking out at the Pharisees and others of their followers.

January 6, 2015 Matthew 20 (11)

Eleven of us braved the snow that had fallen the previous night to make it this morning. Most of the main roads were already plowed by the time we got up. We had about 5 inches of snow. You snowbirds enjoy the nice weather of the south and west!

Mark read from a commentary in Acts that comments on how to be a Jesus follower. Dense writing that took too much to say just a little.

Three stories in this chapter, starting with the one about a Vineyard owner paying the same to all employees no matter when they started work, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, asking if they could be at His right and left in His kingdom, then Jesus heals 2 blind men in Jericho.  We started to discuss the trinity. I mentioned Islam no God but god was against the trinity or the pagan gods of the Arabian people at that time.

Mark talked about blessing a rosary at the request of an uncle of the child baptized last Sunday. He agreed to do it and went into the sanctuary and quietly did a Benedictine prayer to bless it. The uncle thought that it had been held in a holy place and was something special for the child. The community sets people apart for certain tasks. Bill Russell translated Schmalkald articles and described Luther’s use of the rosary. Lutherans are very up in the head in their faith and need sometimes to bring it into their heart. Luther talked about faith of head and heart. How do we take the faith of the head to became faith of the heart?

John talked about Ted Haggard’s church in Colorado Springs, the New Life church doesn’t believe in creeds, communion, and our religious trappings, but they have a firm belief in a narrow view of what constitutes Christianity. He said the traditional carols on Christmas Eve were sung in more of a hip-hop manner. One of their beliefs is that homosexuality is wrong.  We talked about Zion being a reconciled in Christ church and what that means. We talked about whether we marry same sex couples. Is this a problem endorsing the reconciling in Christ organization. How do we reach out to all without endorsing all lifestyles. Is it a problem to be too accepting of others no matter what they believe?