Basking. Soaking up some sunshine and warmth out in the desert in California with friends. Since it’s late February back home, such warmth makes the shock to my winterized system all the sweeter.
This morning, I sat outside on a patio, mulling over words in the Message from chapter 5 of Matthew. I read familiar words, “Jesus climbed a hillside to teach, not to escape the crowds who couldn’t seem to get enough of or from him. Not that far into the future, some would hide, flee, watch or jeer as Jesus, the Christ, struggling under the weight of the cross and our sins, climbed and crawled up another hill called Calvary or Golgotha.
Sometimes I wonder how many of the same folks who heard Jesus teach the Beatitudes, simply forgot once the sun set and they went back to their routines. Sorta like what happens to me. Feels really good while I huddle in the middle of the crowd, savoring a spiritual high on a hillside. In the moment, I think I get it, until the usuals of life overwhelm the time when someOne spoke and I heard unusual words, then left them on the hillside along with the rest of my fish sandwich. Words, only heard, can shift in a matter of days from a crowd nodding in amazement when Jesus says, Blessed are the Peacemakers to a frenzied mass pounding the air with words and fists, screaming, Crucify Him!” Words matter.
Back to the California dessert. Not long after I arrived, I googled churches, hunting one to attend this Sunday. You learn a fair amount, including that some churches get rated on Yelp, like restaurants. Not a bad idea, if you think of church as soul food. When this church popped up, I wondered what the namers were thinking: Church of the Fiery Chariot Ascending to Heaven.
Would you go?
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