The episode is from the Exploring My Strange Bible Podcast. Exploring My Strange Bible is Tim Mackie’s personal podcast, produced by BibleProject. It’s an anthology of Tim’s lectures, sermons, and classroom teachings collected over 10 years.
I’ve only listened to a few episodes. What I have found so far is worth sharing. Mackie accomplishes his mission of exploring the Bible for everyone-those who’ve explored it for years and those who’ve just started or aren’t sure why they should.
For this episode, I’m guessing 90% of listeners will learn something that will enhance their next “remembering” opportunity. I know I did.
Today I remembered through the lens of those closest to Jesus sharing Passover with him. Thank you, Tim Mackie, for enhancing and deepening my remembering.
My best reading happens on planes. This past weekend was no exception. The book I was reading was a find from listening to the Being Known Podcast. They had referenced it too many times for me to ignore, so I got it. I read the majority of it on this trip. The book is Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird.
I’ll post another blog about this book later, but here’s an excerpt that applied to my running experience for this I-35 Challenge. In it, he is describing a patient who was living with a rare, auto-immune disease.
Health-care professionals, family, and friends arrived to help her and left feeling helped by her. They would end up bringing up their own problems, their own life pain. She would say, “Don’t think about the pain. Be still before the pain.” She didn’t mean to give, and they didn’t intend to receive. But the more she was able to surrender to the loving silence at the center of her pain, the more she was a vehicle of this loving silence.
Medical writer Steven Levine observes “true healing happens when we go into our pain so deeply that we see it, not just as our pain, but everyone’s pain. It is immensely moving and supportive to discover that my pain is not private to me.” This is precisely what Elizabeth discovered about pain. If she could be silent within herself, in the midst of her pain and not get caught up in commenting on the pain, she saw her isolation vanish and what she found, even in the midst of this pain, was communion with all people in the silence of God.
I didn’t come close to Elizabeth’s status while putting myself through self-inflicted pain, but I caught a glimpse of what being still before the pain was like. My quads were already in pain before we started the half on Sunday morning. But as I ran, I focused less on my pain by noticing others who seemed to be dealing with their own that was greater. Communion happened.
This one runner in particular that I came upon around mile 7 got my utmost attention. She may have been 5 feet tall. From behind, it appeared she ran as if one leg might have been shorter than the other. For whatever reason, she seemed to run leaning to her right side. And she ran with a limp. Was it painful? I don’t know. It appeared it was a chronic condition that she lived with every day. And yet, here she was running a half marathon. There we were, fellow embracers of pain.
I-35 Lesson #3: Be still before the pain.
There’s more to see past your pain. There’s more to experience through your pain. Communion. Humility. Maybe even peace.
I’d say I’ve been on this lesson journey all summer. The result: Rather than avoid or complain about pain, embrace it. In the embrace, communion with your fellow embracers is found, and together you experience the presence and peace of God.
May 31st was Memorial Day. A holiday to remember those who have given their life for freedom.
That morning I decided not to start my day with a run. Instead I felt led to have a Sabbath moment. Just follow the promptings and see where they led.
To begin, I picked up my Bible reading where I was. It just happened that I was reading in Exodus where the Israelites were first instructed about Passover. I’ve read that many times. But on this particular day, it mattered a little more when I read this verse:
“This day is to be a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to the Lord. You are to celebrate it throughout your generations as a permanent statute.” Exodus 12:14
How could I ignore the connection, right? So, note to self.
I don’t remember how or why, but after I finished reading I came across a youtube video of Max Lucado sharing a personal story that I hadn’t heard before. The title read “Max Lucado Testimony: Jesus Healed Me From Sexual Abuse.” About three minutes into this clip, Max shared a unique communion experience he took upon himself to take when he was twelve years old. He described going to the refrigerator and finding what he could to observe communion right then and there. He felt like he needed to remember. He ended up with a glass of milk and leftover potatoes. And in his heart, he remembered and felt cleansed and embraced as he took that private moment to remember.
How could I ignore the connection, right?
Now it was more than a note to self. It was a call to remember right then. So I followed Max’s example and went to the refrigerator. I ended up with a bagel and a cup of fruit punch. Then with further scripture reading and listening to a playlist I put together of communion music, I had an hour or two of memorial and celebration.
It hit me that a further following of Exodus 12:14 could be that I make this a habit. I don’t have to wait on my church to dictate when I remember and celebrate. I can follow God’s direction and repeat this moment whenever I wish.
For now, I’m putting it on my calendar once a month. And this morning was that time. And I share this for you to consider how you might make remembering and celebrating a part of your home as well.
(From my time this morning) Today I remember that…
you were betrayed
you knew what you were doing
you desired to be glorified
through you your Father was glorified
envy was your enemy
you chose to give your life
you are the way to life now and forever
you knew the prophecies and surrendered to their fulfillment
you could have stopped it all
you were alone
you gave the charge to love one another
the shedding of your blood washes away my sin
you humbled yourself completely to the point of death
Thank you for leading us in the Lord’s Supper last night. One of the most precious times I’ve ever experienced it. I think there is something wrong in our hearts if we don’t get emotional every time we take it.
This text came to me this morning from a choir member in reference to our time together before last night’s Good Friday service.
Yesterday was a day of solitude and remembrance at my house. Mostly reading, listening to Easter songs, and resting. The day prepared me for the night.
One of the songs on my Easter playlist is “O The Blood,” by Kari Jobe. It’s what we listened to in remembrance last night. You can follow this link to remember and to prepare your heart for tomorrow.
O The Blood [feat. Kari Jobe] by Gateway Worship on Amazon Music