unity

A Lenten Journal: A Pursuit of the Doctrine of Christ (Fifth Wednesday)

Elijah appeared to them with Moses and they were talking to Jesus.    Mark 9:4

Law and prophecy are important elements of any established religion.  One to set guidelines for moral behavior.  The other to give us the current and active voice of God.  The Jewish religion was firmly founded on these separate concepts.

Glory in Growth (© John Gresham)

After a few days from Peter’s correct definition and failed attempt of rebuking his mission, Jesus reveals the glorious supremacy of his divinity.  The Christ is the embodiment of law and prophecy.  He is the standard of righteousness and the current voice of holiness.  True faith must never separate the two.  A standard uninformed by a God who speaks at the present is stagnant and dying.  A constantly moving voice without a standard is easily misled to death.  Jesus is the foundation of Moses and the voice of Elijah.  He is complete.  The transfiguration confirms that he is purity, spirit, and the Son of God.  His very being is too great for us to bear.  His compassion allows us to draw near and follow him.  So much for Peter’s attempted subversion.  Alas for anyone who is ashamed of him.

If one’s walk with Jesus can be co-opted by human ideas or cast aside by worldly fear, the walk is false.  No, true faith sees the fullness of the mysterious power of God.  With reverent fear we are to embrace and follow Jesus as he is so much more than we can imagine.  His synthesis of law and prophecy is the reason we carry the cross.  His love and compassion gives us the strength to do so.

Your Brother in Christ,

Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene

 

A Lenten Journal: A Pursuit of the Doctrine of Christ (Second Friday)

… “Who are my mother and my brothers?”  Mark 3:33

We have a very narrow definition of who we are related to.  For people who live on this great sphere of earth, the circle of those whom we care about is limited to the circumference of a dime.  If one is not of our household, ideology, nationality, race, denomination, or religion; we consider such as unworthy of not only care and compassion (except in times of ritual or emergency charity).  We don’t count them among our equals though God also created them in his likeness and breathed his breath in them and made them living souls as well.

Song in Fellowship (© John Gresham)

One’s bloodline has nothing to do with belonging to the family of Jesus Christ.  There was a crowd sitting around him.  Mostly Jews like himself.  But, in other stories, we see him interacting with Romans, Canaanites, and Samaritans.  And none of the Jews seemed to clam him as a relative.  Doing the will of God, Jesus says, is the standard of our relationship to one another.

This is why Gandhi told the Christian who sought to convert to Hinduism to go back home and learn to be a good Christian and then come and learn to be a good Hindu.  This is why Malcolm X no longer taught Nation of Islam bigotry after sharing the great pilgrimage with Muslims from around the world.  This is why Dr. Martin Luther King bemoaned the fact that eleven o’clock Sunday morning was (and remains today) the most segregated hour in America.  These men of faith recognized and accepted all who sought true faith and betterment for all humanity as the thread that binds us all together.  God is the final judge of all who will dwell eternity.  Thus, let us be cautious about closing our circles of the holy family too closely.  We may find we are shutting ourselves out of it.

Yours in Christ,

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene