I am committed to a life provoking the invasion of The Coming Kingdom through: human service, ecstatic prayer, halakhic observation, community building, nurturing hope, and drawing down abiding faith...
I work as a case coordinator in a psychiatric group home. In December, a couple who live a few houses down from the home paid a visit asking us if they could give an offering of gifts for the clients.
Yeshua is a unique case study for moderation. On the one hand, he is fairly extreme. This is the man who taught his disciples to leave behind everything and follow him.
It is rather incredible to think of all the ways in which God “adapts” in order for us to perceive and know him. He provides us with different modes of communication and interaction over time as he watches us change.
Our society has a somewhat dysfunctional approach towards generosity at this time of year. By and large the expectation is that if you receive a “holiday” gift from another, you’re obligated to reciprocate.
Standing up for what you believe in is a good thing. In fact, this is a value one can find in a number of religions and philosophies of life.
Around the time I entered high school I discovered that it was not “cool” to be enthusiastic. As a matter of fact, phrases like “be cool” and “that’s chill” reflected the tendency towards austere distance from the world. Looking back I realize the whole attitude was pretentious and fear driven. The idea was that the more distant you are from things, the less likely they will be able to hurt you; then you can become practically invincible. Of course, it never really worked. This is why the ways of God will never really smack of the kind of “cool” that characterized my adolescence (as well as others). God does not really give us the permission to be distant from him or his world. Yeshua’s example drives this point home.
We usually think of honor as something that is earned. It is an honor to receive a Ph.D. in one’s field, or to be given an award for excellence in a particular area of work. The people to whom we most often give honor are those who have received “honors” for things they have done. This leads to a view that the honor we receive is based primarily on achievement.
My maternal grandfather is the calmest man I have ever known. This was probably why he was selected among all other family members to give me my first driving lesson.
“Thank you for being here today,” my mom would say to every cashier, bagger, customer service worker, etc. for as many years as I can remember. She would often get varying responses. Every now and then there would be a smile, or the person would strike up a conversation. There were even times that my mom would get a dirty look! When I was younger, I never really understood why my mom did it. Was she really thankful that particular person was bagging her groceries? Mostly I thought this couldn’t really be the case. She would even say it to the people who were rude. I didn’t get it.