Text: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Emotions associated with anger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder,adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
The laundry list of evil intentions that come from within the heart bring to mind the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Jesus considered this prayer most important commandment of all and while not a creed, it is the closest to one that the Jewish people have.
Take a few moments to look at the Shema in your Bible and also in Mark 12:29-30. Now wonder about the word “all.” What might it mean to love God with “all” your heart? What role might evil intentions in the heart play in that equation?
– Caren Goldman
“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to www.educationalcenter.org.
Text: Amos 7:7-15
…not able to bear all his words.
(Photo credit: Darwin Bell)
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.”
I am struck by the words: the land is not able to bear all his words. During a race for the highest office in our country, it seems that every candidate attempts to speak with a prophetic voice and “see” what has been and what lies ahead. As you recall what has happened thus far in the race for the presidency, where, when, how and why have you found yourself “not able to bear all his/her words? What, if anything, have you done outwardly and inwardly as a reaction or in response?
– Caren Goldman
Text: Mark 4:35-41
Lakeshore in Kreuzlingen
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”
After a hard day, week, month or lifetime – one that seems to put endless demands upon your psyche, soul, and body – where, when, and why have you finally said to others, “Let us go across to the other side”? What, for you, did that other side represent literally and metaphorically? Among those in the “boat” with you, did someone take control so that you could be “just as” you were at the time? And what were the anticipated and unexpected awakenings and outcomes along the way? Did you ever reach the other side?
– Caren Goldman Continue reading
Text: Mark 1:14-20
Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Image by FlickrJunkie via Flickr
When I do Bridgebuilder™ conflict resolution consulting with congregations and non-profits I spend several hours helping the leadership and congregants to understand emotional systems. A primary focus is upon the difference between reacting and responding during anxious times. For example, anxiety is ever-present. It never goes away and it can always escalate. When we manage our anxiety, we are able to stay in our head. Our ability to use our neo-cortex (the “thinking” part of the brain) to help us name whatever makes us anxious, mull things and possibilities over, ask questions, and then make mature choices rules. That’s true even in an emergency requiring “immediate” action. Just witness how professional first responders are trained to go thoughtfully toward a life-threatening situation when everyone around them is running away from it. Continue reading