Book 5 - The Road to Jerusalem

“Spiritual Time Out” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 34

Ok, let’s take a deep breath and stop for a moment.  That’s a lot to take in.  We need a spiritual time out.  Relax.  Let’s think about this for a moment…

There is nothing that can scare us more than the prospect of admitting our deepest sins and taking the risk of being rejected, shamed or (perhaps worse of all) ignored.

But God makes it clear that He wants us to confess our sins to one another (and to Him) no matter what the risk.  That confession is the first step in the Way of the Cross.  Without confession there is no need for repentance.  Forgiveness becomes a mere formality and true reconciliation, an undefined longing in the night for something that eludes our grasp.

Book 5 - The Road to Jerusalem

“Hosea and Gomer” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 43

Who knows how Hosea might have breached the subject of marriage to Gomer? You have to take into account the culture, the fact that he was known as a prophet of God, and the fact that she was a loose woman. Talk about a rebound.

Apparently, she was married before and committed adultery and had children by her other lovers. The timeline isn’t all that clear. The storyline is a bit confusing but something strange was going on.

First of all, are you kidding me? God tells his prophet to go marry an adulterous woman who has children out of wedlock. Talk about the lowest of the low. The Pharisees gave Jesus a hard time for letting a prostitute wash his feet with anointing oil just before his death in Jerusalem. He should have known what kind of woman she was.

Preposterous. Ridiculous. God told you to do what? God would never do that. I’m certain of it. Yeah, right.

Book 5 - The Road to Jerusalem

“The Culture of Grace” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 35

I heard a Vicar (Pastor) from the Anglican church tell a story recently about his encounters with a young man off the streets that we will call, Paul. The vicar’s wife, who was a good judge of character, agreed that they should help the young man and so they put him up for a few days until they could find a more permanent place for him.

He ended up staying for a number of months and became a part of the family. When the Vicar and his wife went on a short vacation, they left Paul in charge. Paul invited another friend from the streets over who ended up stealing the wife’s jewelry (hierlooms from her mother with more sentimental value than anything else). Paul claimed he was innocent but he still shouldn’t have invited his friend over when no one else was at home. A lapse in judgment.

“The Courage of Transparency” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 32

We gave it a try. We really did.
The new Pastor asked everyone to get together for a meeting and we all came. I brought my wife and daughter (since they were also involved) and the Pastor brought the elder who had offended. The Pastor was a believer in the power of reconciliation and apparently had convinced the elder to show up. One of the other elders had given the Pastor our names as people the Board needed to reconcile with. When we had stood up for Scottie, a street evangelist who was thrown out of the church for making people feel uncomfortable and always asking for money, we got thrown out as well.
So we all showed up, all of us believers, all of us excited about the prospect of true reconciliation. Everyone except for Scottie. They never did get around to him. They should have started with him. The ministry of reconciliation is spiritual warfare and we were terribly unprepared.

“The Rebuke” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 3

Just when Peter is on a roll, he puts his foot in it. Badly. What in the world is he thinking? Is he really “rebuking” Jesus? He does it quietly, out of earshot of the other disciples, but they know what’s going on. They feel the same way, no doubt.

“The Confession” – Seeking Jerusalem – Day 2

Not many people realize that after feeding the 5000, there was a group of people who intended to come and force Jesus to become king (John 6:15). Jesus slips away by himself and then, that night he walks on water to catch up with his disciples during the storm. On the other side of the lake a lot of these same people found him again.