Thursday, March 26, 2009


so i've been reading through the book of genesis and have been going through a commentary with it. i finally got the jps torah commentary on genesis and have been reading that and working my way through the creation story and once again, i've been reminded of how personal YHWH really is.

i've also been reading through the book of colossians and also have a commentary of sorts that i'm reading with that as well, colossians remixed: subverting the empire.

from colossians 1:2, paul starts off this letter with saying "grace and peace to you from God our Father."

now this idea of grace and peace has really been working its way through me as of lately.

i used to think of shalom (peace) as simply being the absence of something, the absence of war, the absence of some sort of evil or bad thing. with studying this idea of shalom from many people over the last several years, i've come around to see and understand that that is the wrong way to see and view shalom. shalom is so much more. shalom is the presence of God, of YHWH. shalom is not just taking the bad out of a situation, shalom is bringing the presence of God wherever we go. shalom has to do with blessing, richness, abundance and a far-reaching harmony that permeates and characterizes all of our relationships.

but before we can begin to think about bringing shalom, there must be grace given. grace must be given in all situations before shalom can ever enter.

grace is not something that we can earn, which we all know. fundamentally at its core, grace is relational. grace is something we receive as a gift from another. shalom can never be fully given until there has been grace given to us.

ezekial speaks of a "covenant of peace" twice, and they are both characterized by a renewed fruitfulness in the land. there is no longer hostility between humans and the rest of creation, drought finally gives way to showers, trees can be harvested again, the people of israel experience security again because they are at peace with their neighbors, socioeconomic oppression is replaced by liberation, the hungry are fed. ezekial 34 talks about all of this.

however, this shalom, this wholeness and well-being in all situations, all of our social, ecological, political, agricultural and economic relationships are rooted in a restored relationship with God.

ezekial 37:26-27 talks about how there can be a covenant of peace only because God promises; "i will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. i will establish them and increase their numbers, and i will put my sanctuary among them forever. my dwelling place will be with them; i will be their god, and they will be my people."

god gave them grace, he said he would be their god and that they would be his people. god gave grace. you see, for ezekial, peace is rooted in grace. there can only be such wholeness, such creationwide shalom, ONLY if God enters our oppressive and broken reality of life and enters it with the initiative of grace.

Friday, March 20, 2009

latest . . .

well here you go. .this is the lastest news around here. . .

so on monday nights, i guess i kind of open and run open gym at the church . . . so i've been doing that for about the last 8 months or so . . . it has been really good to get to know a wide range of guys and the majority of them are guys that don't come to church at all so thats my favorite part is to get to know guys that i others might not have a chance to . . .

well a little history for you with my athletic past . . . all through high school . . . our trainer at our school told me that i needed to either wear braces on my ankles or to have them taped before i played any sport, especially basketball . . . to no suprise to any of you . . . i haven't done that.

now i have rolled my ankles more times than i can count . . . so its nothing new . . . well this time was different . . . i went up to block someone and came down and landed on their foot and went down hard . . . and not only did i hurt my ankle i also cut my knee cause i went down so hard . . . as soon as i went down i knew it was bad . . . here is a picture of it for you . . .

well i finally went to the sports med doc . . . 3 weeks later . . . it was still swollen and still really sore and i couldn't put weight on it . . . so i figured i better get it checked out . . . the doc said i had a fracture in my ankle . . . but because i waited it was already starting to heal back together and that i had also seriously strained my tendon on the outside of my ankle . . . and that there was nothing really they could do at this point.

oh well . . . other than that . . . im ready for spring to get here so i can sit out on our porch and drink a beer, smoke my pipe, watch our dog run around and listen to some sam cooke with court . . . please hurry up and get here spring.