violence & my Lord: what did Jesus do?


V-for-violenceTwo thoughts. (1) Violence in our country. It’s the topic of the day these days. (2) Jesus Christ. My Lord and Savior, every day.

One question. How did Jesus respond to violence?

Let’s find out.

The government ordered his death and sent soldiers to kill him … so his parents, rather than standing their ground, fled the country with him.

Surrounded by men who wanted him dead … he stood his ground, and armed only with reason, he reasoned with them, and disarmed them.

On another occasion, they tried to lynch him … so instead of standing his ground, he eluded them.

When one of his disciples understood that his life was in jeopardy and displayed weapons with which to defend him … he chastised the disciple, turned, and walked away.

When as intruders in the night they came to haul him off to murder him and a friend drew his weapon and began to actively defend him … he rebuked his friend for doing so, powerfully attended to the needs of the wounded, and then went away willingly with his captors.

When his captors had him beaten and whipped … he remained silent and passive, not even uttering a single violent word.

And though he had access to unlimited power to have himself released from the post on which they had nailed him and had hoisted him up high from the ground … he did not exercise that power at all, choosing instead to voluntarily die with a prayer on his lips for his murders’ forgiveness.

And so, two questions now come to my mind:

(1) How did I miss all of this for most of my life as a Christian?

(2) Is the record of my Lord behaving so merely a record of his unique life and experience or was this record made for that purpose and intended to teach all who would follow Jesus as to how to follow him when they find themselves faced with violence?

the Christ house: Luke 11


MoSt Church‘s congregational Bible reading project for 2013, The Christ House, fixes our attention on Christ Jesus as we encounter him in the New Testament. The plan is slow and steady, simple and focused: read one chapter a day and memorize one “Christ verse” on which to meditate from each book of the NT.

Today’s reading is Luke 11 and the Christ verse for Luke’s Gospel is Luke 2.11: “Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”

this went thru my mind


Alzheimer’s: Speaking More Than One Language Could Prevent Alzheimer’s by Nancy Shute

“The latest evidence from the bilingualism-is-good-for-you crew comes from Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington.”

Bible manuscripts: Cambridge Digital Library

Codex Bezae

Christians, guns, self defense & violence: * An Unexpected Topic–But Just In Case: How to Respond to an Active Shooter [required reading]; * Swords into Ploughshares: Voluntary Disarmament in the Kingdom by Caleb Coy [essential reading]; * Youth Fires Shotgun at 2 High School Students, Hits One; Suspect in Custody

* “An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. … If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, remain calm and use these guidelines to help you plan a survival strategy.”

* “…  rather than being on the front lines of peace and laying down of earthly weapons, contemporary American Christians often put themselves on the front lines of stocking up on weapons in fear of the next big revolution.  Why do we do this?  I have no answer other than to point to our love for our nation and it’s 2nd amendment exceeding our love for the kingdom and it’s greatest commandment. If we look to the first century, we will find a different story.  We see a people willing to be martyred before their enemies as witnesses to their faith, a people with a tendency to refuse to become soldiers, or attend public executions (unless it was their own people). …

“As a Christian I will try to demonstrate how to treat potential threats and enemies as I believe Christ would have us do.  ”Do good to those who hate you”. “Pray for those who persecute you.” “Resist not the evil-doer.”  Jesus wasn’t just talking about the guy down the street that gets on our nerves, as if his kingdom were some kind of sitcom. He meant something very earth-shaking. He was preparing us to be ready for martyrdom in any generation, in any land.”

* “The gunman was in custody Thursday after he was talked into dropping the firearm by his teacher and another school staff member, said authorities …”

Fear: Fear: This is a Heart Issue [Part 2] by John T. Willis

“Fear is a powerful motivation in personal, church, and national life. Sometimes this is positive, sometimes this is negative. Here are some motivations which affect our lives.”

Life: * Take Back Your Life in Ten Steps by Tony Schwartz; * Moving Forward by Scott Elliott

* “You’re smart, hard-working and good at what you do, but the truth is you also too often feel your life is just a relentless set of demands you have to meet, and too rarely a source of satisfaction. You long to feel more in control of your days, but the reality is you’re frequently racing just to keep up. This is the story I hear over and over at every level in organizations, from first line managers all the way up to CEOs in large companies. I’m convinced it doesn’t have to be this way, and that the solution has to do with deeply embedding a series of simple practices into your life. … The suggestions are in order from the most basic and fundamental, to the highest level.”

* “… let me offer you several practical things you can do in 2013 to alter the direction of your life.”