September 21-B, 2022

Cove Hardwood Panorama 02 04/11/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, Chimney Tops Picnic Area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Jesus came saying things
people did not want to hear,
so they killed him.

It is the way.

"We can't handle the truth."
Col. Nathan R. Jessup was right about that.

Jesus' words to those who follow him
have nothing to do with the Eucharist,
where he is seen as "dying for us."

No one can die for another.
Dying is an individual/personal affair.
We all die for ourselves,
in the service of our own life.

That is the way.

When Jesus said,
"Take up your (own) cross
and follow me!"
he was going to die.
He was inviting us to come along
and die ourselves
in the work of being alive.

The work will kill us
and bring us to life.

We live for the work
that is ours to do.
Doing what must be done.
Saying what must be said.

The cup of suffering
is the cup of salvation.
The bread of affliction
is bread of life.

Entry level stuff.
Basic Spirituality 101.

The path "will fill our hearts brimful
and break them too"
(William Alexander Percy).
We could talk to Mary about that.
And all the others.

Living truthfully is the only way to die!
That is what Jesus came to say,
and to do.
The model for how to do it.

"The message of the messiah is,
'There is no messiah!'"
(Fred Craddock).

We have to do the work our life
calls us to do
on our own.

It is the way.
The truth,
and the life.

We know it is so.
There is only knowing what we know
and getting to work!

Saying what needs to be said!
Doing what needs to be done!

In each situation as it arises.
Every day.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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