Tag Archives: Jesus

Between the Lines: Proper 12- July 28, 2013

Solitude

Solitude (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Text: Luke 11:1-13

He was praying in a certain place…

Prayer seems to be a central concern of the author of Luke and Acts. Together, these two books contain nearly 40% of all the references to prayer in the entire New Testament. Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers to describe Jesus as praying after being baptized (3:21), withdrawing into the wilderness to pray (5:16), praying on a mountain before calling the disciples (6:12), praying before he asks the disciples “Who do they say I am?” (9:18), going up the mountain to pray and being transfigured “as he was praying” (9:28), being asked by his disciples while he is praying to “Teach us to pray,” (11:1), telling his disciples to pray for strength (21:36), praying for Simon’s faith (22:32), telling the disciples twice to pray in Gethsemane (22:40), and praying so that his sweat was “like drops of blood” (22:44, appearing in some early manuscripts).

In addition, Luke alone describes three parables about prayer; two of which often puzzle the reader:

If Jesus was a prayerful person, what do you make of the fact that the other gospel writers do not emphasize that aspect of his life as much? What difference does it make to your understanding of Jesus to highlight his prayerfulness? How do you imagine Jesus’ prayer? How do you understand your own praying?

– 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.


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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 4; Proper 6- June 16, 2013

Text: Luke 7:36-8:3

English: Foreclosure signs, Mortgage crisis,

Foreclosure signs, Mortgage crisis
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?”

Have you ever experienced having a debt cancelled? What changed for you when that happened? What was different? What tensions eased or challenges lessened? How did you feel about the one who cancelled the debt? How did your relationship change after that point, if it did? Did the size of the debt affect how you felt about it? Is it true in your own experience that forgiveness and love are interrelated?

– 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 3; Proper 5- June 9, 2013

Text: Luke 7:11-17

Wild flower at city gate

Wild flower at city gate
(Photo credit: canong2fan (on the road again!))

As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out.

As the story begins, the dead young man, his widowed mother, and the funeral procession are going out of the town gate.  Jesus and his entourage are approaching the gate. Why might the gate be important in the story?

Take a piece of paper and create a “gate.” Continue reading

Between the Lines: Pentecost 2; Proper 4- June 2, 2013

Text: Luke 7:1-10

English: Centurion (Roman army) historical ree...

Centurion (Roman army) historical reenactment Boulogne sur mer (France). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith….”

What do you suppose amazes Jesus? Is it a centurion who would send Jewish elders to importune for the healing of his slave? Or might it be this centurion’s ambivalence and change of heart and mind? What do you suppose is the “faith” he finds here that he has not yet found in Israel? Could his faith have to do with his feelings about his authority? Is it about trusting in only “the word” rather than Jesus having to go to the slave? What is going on between Jesus and the centurion? Between the centurion, his friends and the Jewish elders?

In one sentence, using your own words, what do you imagine Luke wants you to discover here about Jesus, healing and having faith? What do you know of such a centurion hidden in your soul or psyche who calls upon Jesus and the Holy One in this same way?

– Bill Dols


“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.

A thought for Good Friday

From Diane Butler Bass

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a writer. I choose prepositions carefully. There is a huge difference between for and with. For is a preposition of distance, a word that indicates exchange or favor, it implies function or purpose. I do something for you; you do something for me. Notice: someone does something on behalf of or in another’s place. For is a contract. Jesus suffered for us–means that Jesus did something on our behalf, he acted on behalf of a purpose, in place of someone else. For always separates the actor and recipient, distancing a sacrificial Jesus from those for whom he died. At the Cross, Jesus is the subject; we are objects.

By way of contrast, with is a preposition of relationship, implying accompaniment, or moving in the same direction. Rather than something done for you, with makes you participate in the action or transaction. With is the preposition of empathy, of sympathy, of being on the same side, of close association, of companionship. “No, you needn’t go for me; I’ll go with you.” With is about joining in, being together.

For or with? Contract or relationship? Exchange or participation? Quid pro quo or friendship?

How does Jesus’ suffering connect with your own? Is his story something carried out so that you don’t have to do it or cannot do it? Or is his journey one that accompanies your own?

You can read the full meditation at The Huffington Post.

The Bible on TV

https://i1.wp.com/www.tvshowsondvd.com/graphics/news3/TheBible_EpicMiniseries_DVD.jpgHave you seen The Bible? It’s lead-up time to Easter and Passover, and, true to form, TV broadcasters are turning to Bible movies. New in the genre this year is a series on The History Channel, a 10 part miniseries produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Burnett suggested that one motivation for creating the series was to counter a growing Bible illiteracy among young people. In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor Burnett said, “In school, you have to know a certain amount of Shakespeare, but no Bible. So there’s got to be a way to look at it from a pure literature point of view. If it wasn’t for the Bible, arguably Shakespeare wouldn’t have written those stories.” Continue reading