Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 11, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost XXI Bottom Line Spirituality:Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Pentecost 21

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Godly thinking understands the difference between worldly reading what is seen and spiritual seeing what is not read.

Mark 10:35-45 "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."

James and John said to Jesus, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."

Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

Worldly thinking of James and John is that they want to sit on the right and left hand of Jesus in His glory. Godly understanding knows that He is spiritually already in His glory. They already are sitting on His right and left Hand. John 1:14, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus told them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized", meaning it will happen at the proper time.

When worldly thinking cannot understand the seen, it tries to symbolize it. The cup becomes the cup of His suffering, and the baptism is the baptism of His death.

Godly thinking understands the unseen as the seen. They were not able to drink from the Elijah Cup of the Eucharist or be baptized with the baptism of the Holy Spirit because the events had not come. He had not celebrated the Passover and Last Supper. John points out that He did not baptize anyone during His ministry because He had not been risen. John 4:2

"To sit at my right hand or at my left I cannot grant you."

Worldly thinking believes Jesus will not grant to them their wish.

Godly thinking understands He already has granted it to them. They are already sitting on His right Hand and left Hand. What He already had granted was to be in His Presence now and after the resurrection. The reason He came was to gather a few disciples together who knew Him by His Presence. After the Resurrection, those who knew His Presence then would know they were already on His right and left Hand when He was here and then in His risen Presence as well. At the last supper Leonardo da Vinci’s painting shows all the Apostles sitting on the right and left hand in the glory of His Presence.

There are some who wonder whether the Passover was celebrated on Thursday, as in the other Gospels, or on Friday as in John’s Gospel.

Give me a break!  In the Episcopal Church we have what is called an “octave”.  It is for both Christmas and Easter. When you celebrate on any of the eight day periods it is the same as The Holy Day. The Jews had the same thing going then as now. John did not go into details of the celebration like the other Gospels do. He already had in the Wilderness time at the feeding of the 5,000.

During the Passover, in John’s Gospel, Jesus told His disciples that one of you will betray me. They asked, “Who is it?”  He replied the one I give this bread to.  In the tradition of the time when the King gave His bread to you, you were the King’s right hand man. Jesus was telling Judas my body is in your hands. Judas immediately left. The disciples still did not understand what was going on. They thought Judas was going out to do some kind of ministry with the money he was in charge of. John 13:21ff.  As John points out, Judas “having received the bread went out immediately, and it was dark.” It was dark when Nicodemus came to Jesus as well. It was not the night that was dark. It was the darkness in their spirit. They did not have a clue to what was being said or done.

It was a few moments after that episode that the Apostles suddenly realized who Jesus was. Judas, not Iscariot shouted, “Now we can see plainly that... You came from God.” John 16:10 It was not any one thing Jesus had said.  It was everything He had done. He was “The Word of God full of grace and Truth.”

The grace of the Presence of God has already been given to all of us. All of us are not always in this Presence. It is for those for whom it has been prepared. The Presence of His grace is ours whenever we are prepared to open our heart to sense the Presence of the incarnate God. Sitting on the right and left Hand of God is for everyone. But everyone needs to be prepared to open their hearts to receive the grace of God.

When was the last time you sat on the right Hand of Jesus?  No matter when it was, why not just do it now?


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