Thank You, Tim Mackie!

Last June I shared a post about starting a monthly “remembering” practice. This morning in my remembering, I chose to listen to a podcast episode about the Passover.

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.

“You’ve No Idea”

(Luke 22:15 MSG)

Three years in the making by your time

Eternity of anticipating by my time

Maybe just another meal from where you sit

Undoubtedly my most important from where I sit

A moment to remember the past in your heart

A moment to embrace the future in my heart

A flurry of questions through your mind

A calming of purpose through my mind

Confusing challenges for your spirit

Surrendered offerings for my spirit

Everything about this moment you’ve no idea

Before, now, and after I’ve every idea

(Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash)

I-35 Lesson #3

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.

Today, I Remember

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

Photo by David Weber on Unsplash

Neon Flashes

The topic of writing surfaced three times today. Only one was planned. It was first…and rich. Made the following two neon flashes.

The planned conversation introduced me to this book:

Added to my “to read” list.

A few ponderings about “writing as a spiritual practice”-its purpose and potential:

  • What if writing gives our spirit voice?
  • What if writing connects our spirits?
  • What if writing opens our spirits to commune with God?
  • What if writing nurtures our spirit’s healing and wholeness?
  • What if our spirits need to write?

Easter Preparation

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

https://music.amazon.com/albums/B00FB34LGU?trackAsin=B00FB34MKA&ref=dm_sh_SA94ziMGUHXXiOWqj7RbsVJrp