A Meditation on Matthew 24: 36 – 44 Rev. Cathy C. Hoop Grace Presbyterian Church December 1, 2019 Christmas must be coming. We have all the signs…and I’m not talking about the Tinsel Trail down at the River Walk. Floods and people disappearing without warning. Thieves breaking into our homes. It must be Advent, right?
A Meditation on Luke 23: 33 – 43 Rev. Cathy C. Hoop Grace Presbyterian Church November 24, 2019 Close your eyes for a moment and rest with this word: “paradise.” What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? What can you taste and touch and smell in paradise? Paradise may be
At the time Luke recorded this story, the Temple had already been destroyed. All that Jesus described had taken place, the destruction and the persecution. In 70 CE, Herod’s temple was destroyed by the Romans as a response to four years of Jewish rebellion. The center for worship, for celebration, for repentance was gone. The community’s gathering place – for both Jews and the first followers of Jesus – was gone. And though Jesus had foretold this story, we must not think he felt no sadness over its loss.
Picking up on a pattern here? Jesus continually seeks to remove whatever it is that keeps people from experiencing God’s welcome. In the case of the children, Jesus had to tell his own disciples to get out of the way. Because, yes, he did have time to play “freeze tag” with the kids! With the rich man, he tried to show him that his wealth was obscuring his view of God’s kin-dom, a kin-dom that was right there in front of his eyes, and of which he could be an integral part. And the blind man? Through no fault of his own, despite the common understanding that physical disability was a result of sin, this man wanted his sight restored so he could see the “Son of David.” Though the crowd around him told him to “shut up,” he would not let anything stop him from seeking to get Jesus’ attention. A stubborn determination, not unlike Zacchaeus, who would not let the crowd block his view. He was going to see Jesus and if that meant climbing a tree in his fine clothes, then so be it.
“If this was the season for guiding stars, maybe I’d found something worth following.” — Lucy Curzon
“I found something I’d longed for here. I found myself not wanting to be rescued by faith but renewed by it.” — Adam Brooks
“This sanctuary became a safe place, a welcoming place for me.” — Leslie Poss