And so my first week of the Master of Ministry Module (mmm good) comes to an end.
My “final” for the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark & Luke) portion will be to take everything I've just learned, process it all and come up with a way to tell you all about it in paragraphs rather than pages. To condense it all down into the kind of conversation I might have with someone over a pint at our local pub. If I can just get my brain cells to stop exploding it shouldn't be a problem.
The thing I've enjoyed most about Bill Jackson’s teaching has been his telling of the Text in a way that motivates us to get moving off this page and into the ongoing Story. It’s not nearly enough to know how the Story goes, I want to play my part, I want to actively participate in writing the chapter I’m in.
One of the big ideas from this afternoon was the way in which Israel had turned the Temple into a dark den instead of a city on a hill, a light to the nations. They’d turned God’s grace into a license to smugly hoard YHWH rather than carry His presence to the Gentiles. Rather than embrace their Samaritan family they used the Temple to exclude. Instead of being humbled by the grace of God to be Torah people they became arrogant about a Law that only proved they fell hopelessly short of God.
And it leaves me wondering how it’s happened that we who are the new Temple have followed in their steps, created our own ghetto, bottled Jesus and stocked our shelves with him for profit and rather than live on mission we choose to send missionaries and pay their electric bills rather than be the light of the world. God have mercy on me and keep me from following the well traveled path. God have mercy on us and transform us yet into grace givers, water walkers, heart menders, life releasers, sight restorers, captive freers and storm stillers.
Tomorrow morning we start week #2. Pray for us weary pilgrims!
Thanks to all of you who have supported this adventure with resources, prayer and encouragement. Thanks as well to all who have read and are reading these ramblings that tell the story of educating brian.