2 Timothy 2:8-15 for Sunday, October 13, 2019

 

 

 

 

Photo: Fall in the Rocky Mountains, taken by Pamela Murphy, Colorado Springs, Colorado *

Song: Air for Keetu by Paul Winter *

*used with permission

 

Published by Todd Spencer

I am a spiritual director for adults, a minister of spiritual formation, a husband and father. I live in the beautiful town of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

5 thoughts on “2 Timothy 2:8-15 for Sunday, October 13, 2019

  1. Hey Todd

    Something my youngest daughter said to me a while back after her spending much time reading the bible (she was and still is a teenager). “It seems as though the bible is full of stories about people who, most of time, didn’t get it. I mean they were all about god and searching for God but also missed god and misrepresented and misinterpreted god so often”
    This came back to me this morning as I followed you through this session of Lectio Divina. It was always more clear to me to see what my daughter saw in the Old Testament but today I see in Paul’s life and story. Paul has always been a troubling character for me and I know I am not justified and yet I am to comment as such. Today I see Paul as a religious martyr and JC as a political and social martyr. I grew up evangelical and in a time when the message of heaven and hell were the “good news”. I believed it and lived it. We watched movies and read stories or heard personal accounts of missionaries or regular people being “killed or tortured for their faith”, as we used to say. I reached a place a few years back where I began to question this. I’m not sure what brought me there except perhaps the apparent acceptable violent nature of the attempt to convince each other of “the way”. I began to question if religious martyrs were ever really necessary. If religious martyrs were more about clinging to a concept of god as they saw it at that point in their lives and not about loving your neighbor as yourself, or loving yourself at all. I also grew up on heavy does of self denial or self deprivation or the prohibition of joy (we called it righteousness). So the ultimate deprivation would be death for the cause, you know like JC did.
    As I listened to Paul today in his letter to Timothy I wondered if anyone ever had the guts to say to Paul, you know there might be another way. What if this literal resurrection story wasn’t the good news but maybe it was about a door way or path inside? Instead of attempting to change the minds of all around you maybe it was a message to you. “1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”
    It seems sometimes christians get backed into a corner when we hang on to “stuff” that we call faith but really it might be the false stuff. Don’t get me wrong, i have done this and still do this and usually find myself having to die to it once I become aware.
    I guess I am leading to, faith seems to be more about what we don’t know than what we do and perhaps when we say, “this is god and this isn’t god” we do violence and welcome violence. If JC would have continuously declared I am the son of God or I am god I could be convinced that maybe we need to hold to our learned convictions our truths our “faith”. Instead he was way more ambiguous about one way or the other but unambiguous about loving your neighbor and yourself.
    Wow tangent not averted.

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    1. Hello Jon!
      Thank you for bringing your honest heart and mind to this. I especially appreciate your comment, “faith seems to be more about what we don’t know than what we do.” Faith is not certainty but living in the tension between some glimpses and hunches and great mystery and unknowing. And for me, I am bolstered and encouraged by the “face” of the Divine being Jesus the Christ, with his deeply compassionate and sweetness and courage to love. Faith is about humility and living that, not knowing or pretending to know all the answers. I also appreciate very much your closing comment about Jesus being “unambiguous about loving your neighbor and yourself” while being more ambiguous about religious doctrine. Yes! Thank yku again, Jon, for a chance to ponder and wonder together…
      With Grace,
      Todd

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    2. I also LOVE what your daughter observed about the Bible being filled with stories mostly about persons who “didn’t get it.” That’s what I too have noticed. Just watch the disciples. And they even struggled to understand Jesus all the way to and through his resurrection.

      One last observation for today: it seems to me (and maybe it’s just another way to reflect what you are saying) that Jesus was much more focused on compassionate orthopraxy rather than having pure orthodoxy — on right living in the here and now rather than right doctrine in our heads.
      Peace with you, Jon!

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  2. I don’t often leave a comment but I wanted you to know, Todd, how often I am touched and restored to a deeper faith through your podcasts. Your opening breathing meditation today was just what I needed, as I have been lamenting (our theme this week from the Ninefold Path you introduced at Thursday’s Contemplative worship) a loved one’s addiction.
    “Thank you, oh God of my heart” that Jesus will never turn his back…

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    1. Thank you for this note, Jane. May God continue to breathe into your spirit as you follow Christ in the lament you are living out. May God’s sweet grace stir up healing for you and your loved one right now…Deepest Peace All Ways, Todd

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