Tag Archives: disciples

Between the Lines: Proper 8- June 30, 2013

Text: Luke 9:51-62

Whirl-fire

Whirl-fire (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

Where did the disciples get the idea this was the way to deal with opponents? Take a look at 1Kings 18:20-40 (Elijah’s battle with the prophets of Baal, in which he calls down fire on the offering and ultimately slaughters all the Baal prophets), 2Kings 1:9-12 (Elijah calling down fire on the king’s captain and 50 men- twice!), or 2Kings 2:23-24 (two she-bears maul 42 small boys who have been heckling the prophet Elisha).

When have you ever found yourself wanting to “command fire to come down” on someone who has disrespected, ignored, or embarrassed you? What kind of “fire” do you imagine—misfortune, illness, poetic justice? What was the injury you felt you had suffered at their hands? What does the desire to “command fire to come down” want to affirm, defend, protect? What do you make of Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples?

– Andy Kille


“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.  For details and subscription information, see  About BibleWorkbench.


Between the Lines: Pentecost 18: September 30, 2012

Text: Mark 9:38-50

battle

battle (Photo credit: pshab)

But Jesus said, “So not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.  Whoever is not against us is for us.

    What strikes me this morning about this passage is the difference between “whoever is not against us is for us…” and the cultural commonplace of its converse—“whoever is not for us is against us.”  What’s the difference between these two attitudes?  What implications lie between them for our personal lives, our political lives, our sense of community?  Who’s “the enemy” here?

Where in the world you live in, at work, in your family, among those who do deeds of power, do you see these attitudes?  What difference might it make personally if we did one rather than the other?

Take a few moments, stand up, and let your body express “Whoever is not for us is against us.”  Shake it loose, then let your body express “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

What might your body have to tell you about this passage?

– Beth Harrison


“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.

Between the Lines: Pentecost 17: September 23, 2012

Text: Mark 9:30-37

Happy Children Playing Kids

Children Playing
(Photo credit: epSos.de)

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

What does welcoming someone look like? What actions does it involve? What attitudes, feelings, or emotions? Think of a time when you felt welcomed. What was it that gave you that feeling? What did you learn in being welcomed? About yourself? About the one who welcomed you?

What is there within you that you find it difficult to welcome? What might happen if you were to treat that part of yourself like a child, and find your way to welcoming it?

– Andy Kille


“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.

Between the Lines: Pentecost 16: September 16, 2012

Text: Mark 8:27-38

Restored houses at Berneray, Outer Hebrides, S...

Restored houses at Berneray, Outer Hebrides, Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples . . .

I am intrigued that these questions arose in Caesarea Philippi.  Not in home territory.  I ask myself, as I ask you, to think about your travels, particularly to places where you were not “at home.”   Think of your travels, and the questions that have come up in those unfamiliar territories.  What were those questions, for you?

I remember traveling in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland some years back, right after George Bush was elected for the second time.  Neither he nor his policies were popular in Scotland.  My American accent prompted both distrust and disgust on the faces of the people I met then.  Who do people say that I am?  I had no past with them, no knowledge of what I had done or not done, and the question of my political identity was apparently the only issue that mattered.  Who do my friends, my family, my colleagues, my neighbors say that I am?

Who am I, beyond what they say or think?  Who are you?  Beyond what others say?

Remember, or imagine, yourself in strange and unfamiliar territory, and ask these questions.  Get out of your familiar house, town, highway, language, culture and ask it.  Where do you say, “That’s not me,” or even “Get behind me, Satan”…and where do you say “I am…”?

– Beth Harrison


“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.

Between the Lines: Epiphany 3: January 22, 2012

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.

anxiety

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