Dec. 5, 2015

This past February in Nashville, Tennessee I attended a conference where someone asked me if I had ever heard of the Mirror Bible. My answer was "no." Since then I have investigated it and what I have discovered I would like to pass along to you.

Franscois Du Toit of South Africa is the one doing the translation of this project. It is a work in progress but he is willing to publish what he has completed. Daily I read his posts on Facebook. At the time of this writing he is translating the Gospel of John. When I received the first five chapters of John's gospel I focused on a familiar passage for me which is the third chapter and particularly the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Here is how he translated verses 2 and 3.

(2) "He (Nicodemus) came to see Jesus under the cover of the night and said to him, 'Rabbi, it is clear for all of us to see that you come from God as a Teacher - the signs you perform are proof that God is with you! No one is able to do these signs you do if they are not in union with God."

(3) Jesus answered him emphatically; "no one would even be able to recognize anything as coming from God's domain unless they are born from above to begin with! The very fact that it is possible to perceive that I am in union with God, as a human being, reveals humanity's genesis from above!"

, This and other passages within this translation, have aided me in beginning what I am calling my "theological deconstruction." The idea that John puts forth is that Jesus is telling Nicodemus that he did not have his beginning on planet earth but that he was loved into existence within the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If this is saying what I think it is saying you and I were born of the Spirit before we were born of water not the other way around. That would mean that when we were loved into being our appearance on earth did not alter our genesis. Then our salvation in Christ is simply waking up to the reality of our genesis. Even the apostle Paul tells the Greek philosophers, recorded in Acts 17 who had never heard of Jesus, that in Christ we live and move and have our being! Can you just imagine waking up to the spiritual reality that the Christ that is in us is in us by God's doing not our doing? This kind of thinking runs so counter to what I grew up hearing in church but when I saw it for the first time it has forever changed my perspective.

My reimagination regarding the footprints in the sand goes something like this: Seeing one set of prints in the sand now speaks to me of the Jesus who has always walked within me!

Blessings on your Journey!

Dec. 2, 2015

I have served as a hospital chaplain for over twenty-five years. One of the most interesting things about my job is that when I walk through the doors of the hospital each morning I never know what I will be facing that day related to life and death issues. I never know what kind of issues I will be called upon to take part in related to my function on the hospital inter-disciplinary team. One afternoon some ten years ago I was called to the bedside of a patient that had just died. When I arrived and knocked on the door a voice from within the room invited me to enter. There beside the bed was an elderly African-American woman leaning over one of the guard rails on the side of the bed. This woman was silently weeping over the deceased patient lying in the bed. I stood there quietly as this woman tenderly wept and grieved the loss of her loved one. I noticed that the weeping woman had a walking cane lying on the couch. I was somewhat hesitant to interupt the tender moment I had discovered upon entering the room. The woman informed me that the patient was her aunt and that they were extremely close. I expressed my sorrow and asked if she wanted me to offer a prayer for her. She nodded and I voiced a simple prayer. What happened next is something I will never forget as long as I live. The patient's neice began to pray for me and for herself. She began her prayer with words that still echo within me. She prayed,"Lord, prop me up on my leaning fallen side." Here is a woman aquainted with being crippled due to her need for a walking cane. Here she is proped up on one of the bed rails designed to keep patients from falling out of bed. But what she prayed, I believe, had nothing to do with her physical malady. The leaning fallen side she spoke of had everything to do with her sadness and loss. Have you ever been in a place where you had to give in to the situation you could not control? Have you been in a place where your sense of loss was so profound you couldn't find the words to express your suffering? This woman found confort in her plea for God to prop her up on her leaning fallen side. Usually hospital chaplains visit patients and their family members seeking to bring some sense of comfort to them. However, the day I entered this particular room God proped me up on my leaning fallen side.