Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Aren't Your Disciples Fasting? - Mark 2:18-22 Post 3

Chalkboard: Mark 2:18-22 Post 3
"Why aren't Your disciples fasting?" they ask (Mark 2:18). 

My thoughts keep returning to Levi's dinner (Mark 2:15) and how they were just there - maybe they're even still there.  Or maybe they're on their way home from the dinner.

It seems funny to me that others were at a dinner (or watching it) and yet are concerned with fasting.  Odd to think about fasting when we're celebrating. 

Maybe it was hard for them to watch others eat while they were fasting.  (Or maybe "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners" (Mark 2:16) didn't work, so they decided to try THIS question.)

But I keep wondering why they are fasting.  
There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecc.3:1).  There is a time to fast (Mark 2:20). But...

Is THIS a time to fast?  When Levi has just walked away from his booth, and followed You?  When he has invited all his friends to come celebrate with him and meet and be with You?  When You are in the midst of them? When You are calling for all of us to come?  When You are here...? (Mark 2:19).

Why are they fasting? Why would they even ask "Why aren't Your disciples fasting?"  Isn't it obvious that Your disciples aren't fasting because they're busy eating?  Because there's a time to eat (Ecc. 3:1), and this is it.

I wonder...Do I do this?  Watch the banquet and not let myself eat because I think it makes me somehow better than I am to sit and watch others eat  - and demand that they not eat, either because it makes me hungry to see them eating - and feel righteous because I'm depriving myself?   - Of WHAT?  
Deprive myself of this feast?

But THIS is the feast that I need.

The bridegroom is here (Mark 2:19) and You are inviting everyone to the banquet - to this feast - and that's why You're eating with tax collectors and sinners.  The Pharisees will not come (or will come but won't eat) and I don't know why John's disciples aren't eating (but I feel sorry for them) and their place is being filled with anyone - everyone - who will come and join the feast.  

This is it.

This is the betrothal feast.

The new wine is flowing. (Mark 2:22)
You are calling.
You are spreading the feast before us.
You are joining in it with us.

Now is the time to eat.

Welcome.  Come and eat.


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Who Am I, that I Should Be Sent?

Who am I, that I Should be Sent? - picture of road and birch trees.                    -1-
Who I am?
That I should be sent
What do I have?
to offer
to give

myself

What could I possibly do?
that would matter 

I want to be enough
but
I know what I am not

and yet

I cannot look behind me
to see if You mean someone else

There is no one here but
me
and 
You

You were sent, too.

 
                    -2-
The view 
has become so familiar
what was new 
is now so normal
I forget
once 
it wasn't part of me.
These people
these experiences
this LIFE
was not intertwined with mine
Once
it was possible
(or was it?)
to take a different road.

I could have missed it
and never known
the joy of these friendships
the sweetness of Your touch
in some of these hard places
the struggle, the letting go, 
the freedom in embracing
and even this
letting You bring me to a place of abundance
a place of normal.

This - my life
me
all because once, long ago
(or not so long ago?)
You said "go"
I stood, stunned...
then went.


                    -3-
Not easy to be sent
away from what you know
from all familiar
beloved faces and places and
to battle to communicate
to struggle 
to do what was once done without thought
to thirst
for a quiet place
or for what was

It's been so long I forget
until I remember - in fear - 
that You might send me again
now that I'm comfortable HERE.

I want to stay
in this place that's become my home.
With these faces that are my friends
But...
is that why You send?
for me to make a home
a nest...
start feathering it? 

Who am I, that I should be sent?

"Come, follow me," You said.

I am just one who follows.


Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the prompt this week is "sent".

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Mark Series - Mark 1:1-8

Chalkboard: Mark 1:1-8 (Brokenbreadandsmallfish Mark series)
I have been sick this week, so no new Mark post today. The Mark series should return to its normal schedule next week. In the meantime, I'm creating a custom archive of the older posts. These were the first posts in the  Mark series and also the beginning of my blog.   






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Monday, March 16, 2015

The Real Fast - Mark 2:18-22 Post 2

Chalkboard: Mark 2:18-22 Post 2 (The Real Fast)
Fast? (Mark 2:18) My fast began long ago.  As long as I can remember I have lived under it - I live knowing that something is missing, knowing that something is wrong and never able to fill that gnawing, empty place -
the hole that only You can fill, that place where You should be and are not - 

I try to fill it with other things
But it will not be filled.

I fast.  I try to abstain from filling it with other things, so I might remember what I already know
that this place holds only You
and only You can fill it
the abyss, this place in me - now empty - that, in the end, must be once more filled by You
or else will swallow me completely, 
I, myself, cast into it - my own abyss - forever drowning in my own emptiness
without You.

But You will fill it.
Even now You fill it a little - a promise, a taste - just enough for me to glimpse what it might be like - what it WILL be like - though it is beyond me to really imagine being without this hole - to imagine being whole  -
free of the emptiness...
To imagine what it would be to be filled completely with You.

You give me a taste (Mark 14:22-25)
(Taste and see that I am good)(Ps. 34:8)
and I taste, and I know 
it's true.

And so
I eat
and I fast.

But One Day, 
You will fill this space completely
(Your feast spread before me)
And as my empty places are at last filled
this fast will forever end
As You fill me
with Yourself.


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Monday, March 9, 2015

What does "Fast" mean, anyway? - Mark 2:18-22 Post 1

Chalkboard: Mark 2:18-22 Post 1
What does "fast" mean, anyway?  (Mark 2:18-20)

I looked it up.

And it turns out (not a surprise), to fast (the verb) is to abstain from food, or to eat sparingly, or to abstain from some or certain foods, or to go without (something).  

I knew that.   

Fast is also a noun sometimes, and it means the practice of fasting, a time of fasting, or...something that fastens.

As an adjective and adverb, if something is fast it is firmly fixed, tightly adhering to, not easily freed, closely bound.  In other words, it is fastened.  To fasten (verb) is to make it fast, to make it be connected or stuck tight to something so that it won't come off or apart.  

A fast friend is a loyal, unchangeable, steadfast, stable friend.

Oh, and I mustn't forget that fast means speedy, or quick.

I knew that, too, of course.

I knew all of that.

But somehow I didn't know it all together in a big picture kind of way.

It makes sense, though.  

Because fasting - this abstaining from certain foods or things - fastens me to You - helps me to hold fast to You - to the One who holds fast to me.

It makes my mind fast - sharper, agile, more in tune to You, quicker to hear You.

It makes my heart more stable and steadfast to You.

So when I fast, I am firmly fixing myself on the purpose of my fasting (You).  

Fasting fastens me to You. 



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