Thursday, March 20, 2008

A New Commandment!

In the Christian liturgical calendar, Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday is the feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.(“Maundy” is from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" which means "A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another as I have loved you" – John 13:34) On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Last Supper, the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

But, first, to answer a question that was asked yesterday, the morning celebration of these events marks the beginning of what is called the Easter or Sacred Triduum (the Latin triduum means a three-day period…the three days from the death to the resurrection of Jesus). It should be noted that for Jesus and his followers a day ended, and a new day began, at sunset, not at midnight, as it still does today in the modern Jewish calendar. The Last Supper was held at what present-day Western civilization considers to be the evening of Holy Thursday, but what was then considered to be the first hours of Friday. So the ‘three days and three nights’ that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 12:40 is really an idiom that does not require there to actually be three nights as we would think of them.

Anyway, I was thinking about the fact that Maundy Thursday is so associated with the sacrament of foot washing, and about what that really means, so I want to address that here.

In the last few days I have grown especially weary with all the non-stop contention between the Democrats and the Republicans, Hilary vs. Barack, all the white people who are outraged at Barack's Pastor's controversial comments vs. all the black people who are outraged at all the white people for being outraged, and all the wearisome strife between people of faith that goes on every day. I'm tired of hearing about church splits, and about mature people unnecessarily breaking covenant with one another over doctrinal issues.

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq...five years! Half a decade, already! I'm tired of war, and I'm sick of non-stop violence...sick of turning on the news, and every day seeing another story about some senseless murder, or yet another random person walking into a public place and opening fire on innocent people. I'm tired of beautiful married couples splitting up over things that should easily be resolvable...tired of the hateful nastiness of e-mails from intolerant religious people...tired of strife and bickering and pride...tired of people being mean-spirited and unkind to one another...tired of terrorism...tired of gang violence...tired of bigotry, racism and prejudice...tired of hatred...tired of selfishness.

Please don't write me and tell me that that's just the way things are, and there's nothing we can do about it. I didn't just get here...I know how mean the world can be. But on this Maundy Thursday, I just want to honor the simple, beautiful act of Jesus washing His disicples' feet...even though He knew that he was about to be betrayed by a friend. I was looking online for a footwashing picture, and I came across this one of Jesus at the U.N. washing the feet of world leaders. That's Hilary on the left, and Jesus is serving Kofi Annan who is next to Osama who is next to George W. Bush. Apparently, the picture has been cirulating on the internet, and has gotten a lot of strong reaction, both pro and con.

I didn't put it here to make a political statement. I just want to speak peace to the world on this Holy Thursday. And for those of you who are a part of this blog, especially the regulars, in the Spirit, I am kneeling before you all with a basin of water, washing everyone's feet.

I have been hearing from people who log on here from all over the world (night before last I talked to Bishop Tommy Smith in the Philppines who told me that he comes here very day) and so I want to say to all who come here...welcome, and take your shoes off.

The trademark at Hard Rock Cafe is "Love all/Serve all", and today...if only for today...that's what I want to do. And whatever you do, from the time of reading this through Easter Sunday...remember to keep these days a a server...maybe your little act of kindness will make a difference.


Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Yvonne said...
Behold the lamb of God..who takes away the sin of the world!

March 20, 2008 1:01 AM

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Yvonne, I noticed that the article had Wednesday's date on it so I reposted it and cut and pasted your comment. That's why it's under my name.

Ebony said...

Revelation 21:5 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
[The Message at Navpress] [NavPress]

3-5I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate."

Revelation 22
1-5 Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshiping, they'll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.


peacemaker said...

This might be the toughest response to write so far.
For one reason, I feel your "I'm tired of..." statements so strongly that it almost hurts. Another reason is after looking at the picture, I'm having a real hard time seeing through the water that has shown up in my eyes. I don't want it to fall on my computer and fry the motherboard.

I can remember a day when that picture would have really messed with my sensibilities, and if I can be totally real, it's trying to now, so I can understand the stong reaction either way. I think that was the artists' intent. It's sure evoked a strong reaction from me.

"This is a NEW commandment...that you love one another, as I have loved you"...OMG! "Greater love has no man than that he would lay down his life for a friend"...OMG!! "...I tell you to love your
enemies"...OOMG!!! "Father, I pray they be ONE as you and I are ONE"...OOOO..MG!!!!
Is it just me or can you hear the picture screaming too?
Call me crazy but I think Jesus might be setting a "Maundy" here for us to follow.

Can we?

"Love All/Serve All"...that's so cool!


Donald said...

Good morning everybody. I'm sitting here this morning enjoying my coffee, I've already read the newspaper, I'm listening to the birds singing outside, and I've already been to the gym and did my cardio workout, and I'm just thinking about how peaceful I feel right now and just how "good" everything seems where I am right now.
I read the post, which I believe most sane people could relate to, but the picture of Jesus washing the feet of some of the world leaders appealed to me. It continues to expand in my mind as I sit here. Who in their right mind would not want the peace that can only be realized through Jesus/the Christ?
I'm fairly knowledgeable about the Beatles and I'm well aware of all the hoopla about John Lennon's "Imagine", but I've gotta tell ya' everytime I hear that song, I can't help but wonder who wouldn't want a world like that?
If we had a world where peace reigned, heaven and hell would be moot subjects.

Anonymous said...

Love the post, and the picture of Christ washing all those power figures feet. I don’t have trouble at all seeing Jesus doing that. What I do have trouble visualizing is myself being one of those figures. Although I know it is already true in the deepest sense of the action. Donald I am glad you said what you did about the Beatles “imagine” I love that song and have almost felt guilty for loving it.


Anonymous said...

Wow Honey, this is beautiful. I understand your frustration with all that is "not right" with the world, but, the picture of Jesus at the UN washing the feet of World to me big time...reminds me of one of our favorite movies...."Places in the Heart"....your words make me want to be very sensitive to the Spirit of God today and those who may need "their feet washed" by the Spirit.....Shalom!

Iris said...

Reading the blog today, I found myself sighing... Not a sigh of relief... expectancy… or even a sigh of joy…. It’s more of a sigh that fits somewhere between exasperation and a burst of tears… The sign of creation as if she were giving birth… or the sigh of the spirit as He interprets our prayers… (II Cor. 5:2-4, Rm. 8:22-27)

As you Bishop… I am tired of all the stuff that see on a regular bases around our globe…I sigh at the violence…murders…broken marriages…hate mails…religious people who think they have all of the answers…terrorism…gang violence…and all of the others you mentioned… I sigh…

And if we sigh… I know God sighs in recognition of pain that was never intended… Man was not created to be separated from his Creator… all though He has built the bridge… some can't see it or they refuse to cross it… His creation was never to be inhabited by evil… hence He sighs as she longs for the Garden… The imbalanced of it all causes the Master to sigh… Jesus sighed in Mark 7:31-37… In His agony lies our hope… He felt the burden of what was intended… He didn’t simple chalk it all up to the inevitable or wash His hands of the whole stinking mess… No, He washed their feet instead… The divine sigh assures us that God still groan’s for His people… He groans for the day when all sighs will cease… when what was intended to be will be…

~The restoration of all things to their Creator~ although He has restored all things… He longs for us to walk in His restoration…

Yes, God sighs… Yes, we sigh…and with Him we see an undeniable chance to love more and serve more…

The whole earth consciously and unconsciously wants desperately for someone to wash their feet…

Thank you Bishop for washing ours…


Leesa said...

Bishop, Amen! And Amen to my Pastor Debye! This is a beautiful always, I love how you think! I did need my feet washed..lots of dust! Thank you! I am not sure how the feet washing makes me "see" better...but I am! I choose to see & to walk in peace! peaceably with ALL men...funny, ALL is in there! I am reminded of the verse in Isaiah 51 How beatiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion; Your God reigns! vs. makes me tear up...THAT IS WHO YOU ARE! You always bring good tidings, publish peace & salvation and always proclaiming that He reigns! Bishop, your feet are beatiful walk in peace!...OH MY!!! Guess what? my eys just feel to the verse before..."behold, I AM!" WOW! I look forward to the rest of the day! Love you, Leesa
PS Hey Donald, love how you started your day! Excellent!

DoubleBack Alley said...

Peacemaker, most excellent post, o writer of great wit and wisdom. The tab is still open. Belly up.

Sahib, not my feet, but all of me. Maybe that is what I was feeling yesterday. There is a lot of pain out there, in here, and now. Thanks for the Picasso that framed a nebulous emotion that had me in the throes. That is why I need my blogmates. Blogadeers. Blogona sandwich chefs. Blog me baby one more time. Blog over troubled water.

I'm not totally comfortable with the picture. There is much hatred portrayed from the knees up in that shot. Being an American, it's tough to think that the Universe has an exalted nature for the folks sitting there. That is my bias and the eternal is coaxing me through it.

From their knees down though, there sits my mentor. Just moments away from execution. Willing to lay his life down for his brother. In the natural, he knows none of them, has no idea that some kill in his name and some kill because of his name. In the supernatural, he knows them all and blesses them for being who they are, were, will be. He encourages their path, realizing that their divergent paths will lead to a single point of consciousness. If not here and now, somewhere and now.

It’s interesting that he washes their feet in front of many flags that do not seem to be theirs. Is it possible that the whole world is ready for this, but the most influential among us are the last to be enured to the soft answer that turns wrath?

It appears as though Jesus is wearing what we traditionally think of as crucifixion type clothing in the picture. I love the tradition of foot washing. It was deemed necessary by the Jews so that no one would eat unclean. It supplemented one’s previous bath as well. That is why Peter said, “wash my hands and head as well then”. Is it possible that we are responsible for the laving of every part of our body, except the sojourning feet? We and our maker are partners. Wading, washing, walking, wondering are integral parts of the plan for our existence here, there, and now.

Jesus washes their feet so that they will be clean before they take and eat of his broken body. He recognizes the importance of their tradition, while bathing them in the glow of a new one. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. They dive into this now revelation feet first. What a man. If you look carefully, you see a tear in his eye. A tear of joy. Maybe that’s my eye. Maybe it’s Peacemakers eye. Cry on my shoulder, Sahib.

Isn’t it interesting that the word, “then” is used to describe the past and the future?

Ain’t God Good?

Kettly said...

Good Afternoon Bisp,

Thank you,for keeping your word, about my question.
We're on a Mission!

Yes Bishop I Am tired of Crimes too.When you look around the world today,it is really hard to believe that love can heal the ills with which we are plagued. Someone asked me some times ago.Can love heal cancer,heart disease,diabetes,
high blood pressures,and AIDS. How can love feed the hungry children? Or end the violence in the world? It sound so simple to say that love is the key to healing.
Actually if tell the thruth,it sound ridiculous.As ridiculous to believe: There is no difficulty that enough Love will not conquer;
no disease that enough Love will not heal; no door closed that enough Love will not open; no gulf
that Love enough Love will not bridge; no wall that enough Love will not throw down; no sin that enough Love will not redeem.
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopless the outlook,how confused the difficulty,how great the mistake,a sufficient realization of Love will dissolved it all.

If only you could Love enough,you would be the Happiest and most powerful beings in the world.
Then,there is the tiny issue that most living beings have very different idea of what Love is,or what it should be. How do we reach that group. How do we find ways upon which we can agree with regard to what Love is,and what it can do. If I dare to say,I believe if we each start doing our individuals work,clearing our individual stuff releasing our individual fears,I believe that Love will hear the call and respond. Where better to start than our relationship with God,and those alliances we form in an effort to give and received Love? Where better to invoke and practice
the principle of Love,thruth,trust,
and peace? Than,our Church(CITN)while we are trying to reach others about Love,we can each practice loving principles.We can each invoke"THE PRESENCE OF GOD's LOVE" as the foundation of every choice and every decision we make.
We can each move with a purpose to reveal Love in every word we speak and every action we take.In doing so, we would awaken the thruth and the Love of God in our hearts.
we would find more things to celebrate and be joyous about.We would be living from a much simpler perspective,but I for one do not think this approach to life is ridiculous.In I know our Mission and the command Jesus gives us on John 13:34,35. Love teach us how to live,embracing the simple truth about life and God.

This is our Mission! we must keep in mind as we move through life. We
We must think Love,see Love,invoke Love,because The Holy Spirit says (CITN) is Where He's calling His Home, His Tabernacle,His Sanctuary.

Let's take CITN to a brand new level. To show to everyone no matter how difficult if may be,we embrace one another with Love.
Right now, CECE WYMANS is singing:

Anonymous said...

Amen! It has been hard not to be drawn into all the political drama and ugliness that is rearing its ugly head. As part of the generation between baby boomers and gen-x, I don't remember the civil uprising of the 60's into the 70's. I have to hope/believe that the fervor of the verbiage being put out there does not create that similar environment. The motivation needs to be for the good of ALL.

I too, am tired. I will relish the thought of a spiritually indulgent, bubbly foot-bath!

Loving to serve (all)!!

DoubleBack Alley said...

Maundy, maundy, so good to me. Most of the Catholic confines are closed tomorrow, so I don't know if I will get to post tomorrow. I don't have one of Al's fire and talk boxes at my house (I am sooo...1998). Gonna have a good time watching the NCAA tournament for the balance of the weekend.

Wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for everything. Pray for my daughter, all is well, but just pray for her situation. I really treasure all of you guys in here and out there. My pearl of great price is in the wisdom that is found here. I don't ever want to take that for granted.

Sahib, I am sure you are having a Sunrise service. You seem like you would and I pray for the weather there to be as bright and alive as the word fitly spoken that I know you will deliver. I will be there at 7. Are you broadcasting? If not, see you at
9 cst.

One last thing, if I tell GWB that Osama is sitting beside him, will you vouch? I'll split the reward money with you.

Happy Good Friday, Great Saturday, and Sonderful Sunday.

Ain't God Good?

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, that passage...that's what it's all about...

Peacemaker, I felt every word of your post down in my soul...

Donald, I incurred the wrath of the religious when I wrote about Imagine in the first blog kids wanted to sing it for me in church for my birthday, but I suggested hearing from you every day...

Dennis, good to talk to you earlier...after I hung up I felt like I should have offered to pray for you, but I say now that your health springs forth speedily in Jesus' name!

Thanks, babe. You're apparently referring to the last scene when they all take communion together...even now, just thinking about it gives me chills...

Iris...beautiful, heartfelt words...

Thanks, Leesa...awesome...can't wait to see you guys next weekend...

DBA, you are a "seer" if there ever was one...

Kettly, hope that answered your your passion for God...

Thanks, Anonymous...if you're new here, welcome aboard! made my inner child happy to see the Beatles on the cover of Life Magazine...and, yes, we are having a Sunrise Service, but it will be outside and won't be streamed...but the 10AM (9AM CST) is going to be off the chain. How can we manage without you here for a couple of days?!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...and the Lord will perfect that which concerns your daughter! (Psalms 138:8)

Anonymous said...

The picture you posted,Bishop Swilley is a very provocative image.Seeing Osama Bin Laden sitting there waiting to get his feet washed by the Prince of Peace at first conjured up some angry emotions.But the Holy Spirit reminded me Jesus transcends,race, religion,politics,gender,and even me.I may not be able to wash Bin Laden's feet,but because His love is greater than Bin laden's hate,He can.

Another thought I had was that if Jesus was to have a dinner,how many of us would actually attend?Would a John Hagee attend knowing that a Pope Benedict would be welcomed there?Would a Pat Robertson show up if he new he would have to sit next to a Jesse Jackson,some one his political opposite?Would a Rod Parsley make his way there knowing a Tony Campanello was to say grace?Would we let our petty difference's get in the way of fellowshipping with with OUR SAVOIR and LOVER OF OUR SOUL'S. Peace to all,especially to the household of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Very insightful observation, Tom. I like the way you think.

Anonymous said...

Hello All,

Holy Maundy. [this morning was the first time I'd heard where Maundy came from]--I wonder when we decided to stick with the Middle English.

Tonight, pondering Spiritual foot washing, and why I was unmoved by the UN picture [which made me feel out of sync I must admit!] and why I couldn't think of much to say today, really--I thought back to this morning.

I was irritated this morning at having to do something I don't want to do and was trying to figure a way out of it and also ask the person who didn't think to think of all the ramifications of their request next time!

"Maundy Thursday" came to mind, then "What was that 'latin' word Bishop quoted?" I actually stopped the car and pulled up today's post on my phone.

Mandatum. Mandate!
"Mandate Thursday".
"Commandment Thursday!" That's powerful. Got back on the road with your final words--"maybe your little act of kindness will make a difference"

When I started to go back to considering my options [I had some really cool things to say too!], something in me just clicked. I don't recall making a decision. I just remember thinking, "Oh, forget it. Just do it. What can it hurt?"

I think MY whole day has been different. Can you do that Spiritual foot washing again real soon? Something happened to me for sure and I'm hoping I passed it on to my "irritant"'s feet too.

I'm thinking now--Jesus washed the disciples feet as much for Himself as He did it for them.


Bishop Jim Swilley said...

A., inner voice (the Holy Spirit?) has been speaking to me in short, direct statements like that quite a bit, lately. In fact, I've recently heard "Just do it" several times...

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that Bishop, and I will Be Praying about that. I dont want to miss God trying to be practical.


Anonymous said...


[but what I want to say is:
De cape! De cape! Is He telling you to do de cape? (smile)
That would make LP so happy!]

Erik said...

The truth that ALL has been settled, all covered, All is at peace, and has long been so, is known by every single person that ever lived. ALL know this at their core, it is breathed into every one of us, it sings in the fiber of our souls, the repeated chorus.
We pretend differently for some reason, maybe because we can. We pretend fear, scarcity, unknown, we pretend we are separated – when no person ever has been. Maybe we choose to make the pretend dramas, the wars, the loneliness, the fear, the hatred, we choose to pretend we are separated for .. maybe because we ALL absolutely know we are not. Maybe it is the childishness within those who think peace comes from walls, from instilling fear, from power, (personal, economic, military), from acting out (urban gangs to world leaders to terrorists to religion to rapists). The childish pretend they are orphaned and alone, pretending life is chaotic or any reason behind it is elusively exclusive, for the ‘few’. They can become tiresome. It is a conundrum why the childish pretend they are orphaned. We can become weary in witnessing it. However, It is pretense, and childish things have passed.
The child like embrace the love of God, the Universal Love energizing our souls, that breathes through our breath, speaks through our voice, lives through our lives. we know that we are always connected, there is no separation, none are forgotten. This is the truth. Each one alive was especially invited into this world by El-Shaddai, the providing loving God, who inhabits this place through us, and shows us who we are, We know our beautiful selves, freely through knowing God, Jehovah, G-d, Allah, Ja, The Indefinable… The I AM. We come to ourselves, again and again, as A Realization of The I AM, He IS, We ARE, I AM. This is reality, truth. Power in truth is unalienable. Power is surrender, the unconditional surrender in unconditional love. NOW that - is always life affirming.
WE ARE say –
Childishness is faded away, The Joy before each person is embraced, Every one embraces the connection, each has crucified the fable of separation. The Kingdom is within each one, each one lives in the Kingdom from the inside out. Heaven is on Earth. The gates of The City have dissolved, The veil is gone. Hallel to Jah !!!!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

DBA, on closer inspection I see that it is not the Beatles, but the inner child is now disoriented...

Anonymous said...

My favorite part about this pic is how Jesus is revealed.

I love this about my Savior: His feet are bare.

The world's tied, turbaned & suited await lathering & here's my Jesus, totally relaxed, kneeling before the children of men.

In only a robe - cinched at the waist, The Son of God touches the heel of Kofi ("a boy born on a Friday") grandson and nephew of tribal chiefs.

Now, the Lord's muscles are taut (marked by economy of structure and detail) as heaven bows and touches earth, as it was from the beginning.

His face is recognizable, beard is still intact; no sign of bruising or swelling. No trenches in His back.

I wonder what He's thinking. Flags stand behind the world' representatives, while He bends His knees on mottled red & purple carpet.

One bowl; one towel. Seven ambassadors.

Love is.


Lise said...

DE CAPE, DE CAPE... That would make LP SOOOO happy! Yes, yes, yes! "Just do it, Bish!" (That was HS - did ya hear?... if not, just pretend).

Avatar, you crack me up! Serious brain-fade when I read that :) I thought, "Hhmmm... I guess I'm supposed to know what that means, but what the heck?!? Is it Latin? I don't know any Latin (other than the pig variety, of course)!"
Then the lightbulb came on! Arn-day ose-they etched-wray rugs-day!
(How's THAT for a Friday morning?)

Bish, don't forget!! If you do it, it HAS to be on the DVD! Would be a crying shame if you went to all the trouble and I missed it! So, pick a Sunday, any Sunday - doesn't have to be Easter - hey, maybe Wednesday would be more appropriate. What 'cha think?!

Feeling pretty good this am. Not really sore at all, and didn't have to take any painkillers - THANK GOD! I'll just save those for a rainy day :) Will try to come up with a semi-intelligent post later on the new blog. Really beautiful translation!

Do want to send a shout-out to Erik. Thank you for that sweet comment (you know which one), and I've been praying for you and Ryan that God will manifest by whatever means necessary.

More later, maybe...

peacemaker said...

My God Tom and Izumi/Joy...

I just have pulled it back together after reading and responding to this post yesterday and the John 17 post today.

Now I'm a mess again...Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Peacemaker - but a holy mess, right?

The pic stirred up all kinds of Scriptural imagery.

Like, how Jesus might have been viewed as the world's footstool.

Standards are raised, dignitaries are seated but God is kneeling.

Did you also notice there are 8 present? Seven men but only 1 woman.

Only two men are barefooted.

Three are actually looking @ Jesus.

Seems to complete God's tabernacle furnishings in microcosm: The brazen altar, the laver, the candlesticks, the table of bread, the altar of incense, the veil and the ark of the covenant.

There's probably more.

Anonymous said...

"Would we let our petty difference's get in the way of fellowshipping"--thanks Tom

"I wonder what He's thinking...
One bowl; one towel. Seven [tied, turbaned and suited] ambassadors."--thanks Izumi/Joy

Affirming.--thanks Bishop

I think the picture that would move me is seeing GWB washing Saddam's feet, or Hillary washing GWB--or Barack--or...

Back to an earlier post, it's way too easy for me to think that it was easy for Jesus.

He was fully human.

I'm still thinking HE needed to wash their feet. His example [obviously stated was that they would do it] but also was in His taking another step toward submitting to God's plan for Him.

Bishop, you've taught us that the most powerful prophecy is the one that comes out of our own mouths. I've said some things recently that surprised me, and they've changed me.

Since Gethsemane was still to come, I don't think He was quite there yet. I think He may have even been surprised by things that came out of His mouth. His Spirit understood.

Fully human.

He had to be tired of everything He was seeing. Even tired of the 12? He loved them, yes, but He also had to have loved life, right? [He wants to come back! he wants to go fishing, go the movies. Eat a banana split? But he can't, until...]

Being with them, yet longing for them to become one, because it will be soooo much better.

It was done for me yesterday.
Now. Just do it, A.
Just do it.
"Maybe your little act of kindness will make a difference."

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Love every word...thanks, all...Izumi, wow, that's all I can say...Avatar, you're such a good listener...

Tom, that's two cool more and you're automatically taken off the bench and put in the game...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And settle down, LPnSC and Avatar...there's only Godfather of soul!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I meant to say only ONE Godfather...the hardest working man in show business...

Anonymous said...


Do you think that when the Godfather of soul sang, "I feel good", that he was prophesying?

The "Godfather of soul" is probably touching the Father of souls today!

Anonymous said...

Okay. Durn.

Hey, LP...we can IMAGINE. (smile)

Yaaaayyy, Tom! You can DO it, man!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Gazelle, where have you been?

I don't know, maybe. But I do know (and don't tell anyone about this) that one time I really did hear the Lord speak to me through "Get Up Offa That Thang", in a very prophetic way. That may bother some of the religious looky-loos here, but He did speak through a donkey once. Foolish things of the world confound the wise!

Anonymous said...

Somewhere - can't really describe it, Bish. Carried away after reading Matthew's account in chapter 26, maybe.

In verse 50, Jesus referred to Judas as "friend" and Judas responded by calling Jesus, "Master".

Why, I wonder. Reverence, sure. But, when Jesus said it, it sounded intimate.

That's been in my spirit for days.

Then, the whole incident with cutting off the ear of the high priest's servant.

Symbolic! (like a religious mindset)

How like Christ to restore.

Donald said...

Tom you really got me to thinking. Uh, I've actually thought before, but I guess I should say you got me to thinking about a particular subject. I'll sort of paraphrase what you said. If "so and so" knew that "you know who" was going to be at the party would they come anyway? The answer; probably not. That reminded me of the verse about how can you say you love God whom you haven't seen while you don't love your brother who you have seen. That's obviously not a quote but you all know what I'm talking about.
From the experience that I've had over my short life, if any two of those invitees found out that the other was invited, they would both decline. But that would put them into the position of having to tell Jesus that they decided not to attend because so and so was going to be there. To that Jesus would say, "But I'm the one that invited them to the party, are you saying there is a problem with my guest list?" That would sort of put someone on the spot if they were faced with that literally. Although we are faced with it in the scriptures all the time but choose to disregard it or say that it means something else.
Some folks just don't like to hang around other folks even if Jesus said that it was OK. For instance, my best friend is gay. I've known him for almost 30 years and was even in his wedding. We never really knew he was gay until a few years ago, but I suppose we all suspected it, if you know what I mean. I mean, the guy can cook better than anybody I know and has the most beautiful flower garden you would ever want to see, and nobody can pick out any prettier drapes. But anyway, after he came out of the closet, it was amazing how many of the church folks suddenly wouldn't have anything to do with him and actually started making fun of him.
It's just hard for church folks to accept differences. And I have to admit that I'm not totally perfect in that area because the friend I am referring to is a massage therapist. Since this revelation came out I have actually started going to someone else for my full body massages. I just haven't gotten total victory either, pray for me.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Gazelle, I don't know if you were at School of the Bible I, but in that seminar I talked a lot about Judas (at least I think it was in the first one). Anyway, Dr. Lovelace told me that when you "dipped the sop" with someone, as Jesus did with Judas, it meant that they were the guest of honor at the function. And remember that he (and Satan, for that matter) were obedient to Jesus when He told them to do what they were going to do "quickly".

I think the relationship between Jesus and Judas completely conveys the complexities of the Son of Man/Son of God mystery. On one level Judas was fulfilling the (prophesied) will of God in betraying Jesus, but on another level it was an extremely painful experience for Jesus the Man. He said that if it had not been a friend who was chosen to do it, that he would have been able to bear it. I don't think we've ever fully understood the profundity of "You will prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies."

In my mind, Judas' suicide was evidence of his broken heart...that he was so overwhelmed by it on an emotional level that it was the only way that he could repent.

That's why I like Jesus Christ Superstar so much. I think it makes some valid points about the conflicted nature of Judas.

And Donald, give yourself a break. It might be the right thing to do, and your friend probably understands. Brave of you to bring it up, though.

Donald said...

Gazelle, some of the things you and others have been saying has just caused me to wonder about something. We all know and agree (I think) that Jesus was all God and all man. Based on that, do you think that He knew everything that was going to unfurl during the day when He awoke each morning?
I believe that he understood the big picture, but I just wonder if He knew that Judas would be the one that would betray Him or if He only figured it out relatively close to the time that it happened?
I haven't always thought about this but if He always knew what was going to happen well ahead of time, wouldn't that sort of take the excitement out of the fully man part of Him?
Just wondering. I don't really know.

Anonymous said...

I remember teachings about "dipping the sop" w/ regards to the guest of honor @ a function.

My God - what a thought provoking line. Without Judas starring in that role, how would God have otherwise written mankind's destiny?

I know, I know. It's Good Friday - I realize that, too. I rejoice in what happens only a few hours away.

But, the agonizing aspect of the betrayal hits me right in the chest. Now. Whew. Hard to shake off.

Inertia sets in & my heart's full, is all.

So much to say; but no words to convey. Did Judas envy the one whom Jesus loved? Did even one of His beloved question their respective roles?

Did one whisper, "I'd rather not deny you three times!" or another, "How 'bout I take Your word for it and not feel Your scars?"

And, "How 'bout me? What can I do, Lord?"

"You? You get to dip your sop in the bowl with Me."

"But... that'll mean..."

"Yes. I know."

"But, I love You."

"Yes. I know. But, Mine's greater. Trust Me."

(Cue some, "Get up offa that thang," or preferably, "Help!")

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

One other thing and then I'VE GOT TO GO...but when Jesus said "One of you will betray Me", they all asked "Is it me?"

That's really deep if you think about it...meant that it was in the realm of possibility for each of them.

Now turn off the revelation for a minute so I can get something done!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, then, I won't even consider, "How about one who NEVER asked if it could possibly be himself"?

What if that one's love was so deep; so near, that it NEVER occurred, that it could possibly be him?

How 'bout that? Huh?

Just a thought.

Donald said...

Gazelle I think when everything is running along smoothly we can all consider ourselves above reproach when it comes to something like betrayal or denial. Sitting here right now at my house in relative safety I believe that I could take on the world, but if the heat were turned up,...I don't know,....I might go belly up.
If I had to guess, I would say that when the disciples reclined with Jesus that night that none of them thought they would do anything contrary to Jesus's best interest, not even Judas.
From what I gather, it was not until after the sop that everything went sour for Judas.
But I believe that going into the event that they all believed their love was strong enough to withstand any battle, but as we all know that didn't happen. True enough John (to hear him tell it) hung with Jesus more than any of the others, but I still don't see him putting his neck on the chopping block. Pressure has a way of separating the men from the boys, or whatever comparison fits.

Anonymous said...

Bish - Psst...3-2-1... OK... now? May I proceed now?

I've slept on it & reconsidered. Since even Jesus was tempted in all points, it had to have been in the realm of possibility for His disciples to fail Him.

I just skimmed over Matthew & Mark - both record that all His disciples flaked, fulfilling Scriptures.

Donald - wasn't ignoring your posts. I could have gone on for hours but trivial stuff like food & zzzzzz are strong contenders.

Maybe this will sound absurd. But, yes. I do believe that Jesus knew what was going to unfurl each day. Scripture says He had the Spirit without measure.

Remember when the disciples urged Him to eat after He spoke to the woman at the well? His reply was, "I have meat - you don't have a clue." John records that He didn't commit Himself to men. Why? Because He knew what was in them. What does it all mean?! Amazing love, I guess.

About your question: Maybe there's a divine script with a good, an acceptable & perfect will of God.

And in it, He allows men free will. Whatever they choose, the outcome will still be "yes" and "amen".

Maybe the thrill is in watching man choose the better part every day.

What if, for Jesus, it's like how we enjoy favorite re-runs? Only His are home movies.

Some, we've loved so much, we imitate a swagger, "By God, she reminds me of me."

Some, we memorize accents, "I always was a rebel, but I wanted to be loved and accepted. Not just be a loud mouth lunatic, poet. I cannot be what I am not."

Others, it's a furrowed brow ... "what he was doing in my pajamas, I'll never know."

So, when He gazed up at the sky's big screen, was the Lord laughing to Himself, thinking, "Oh yeah. I remember this part. Here's where Pete sank in the water & I had to yank him out!"

Or, another episode where He stood on the shore & hollered, "Dudes! Got any eats?" He told them where to cast their nets and they made a huge haul.

Did He fall into the sand, slapping the dunes, when Pete grabbed a coat & jumped overboard after hearing it was Jesus?

Or how about, "C'mon ya'll! How awesome is that?!"

"Ahh... ya doesn't has to call me Johnson!"

Or, "When we see the word, "therefore", we know..."

Or, "Stand up everybody, let's give a big shout tonight."

Or, "Sarah... fine... how are you? Well, soak it Sarah. Soak it in a lot of warm, salt water. Uh. Listen Sarah. Get me Thelma Lou."

"I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are not, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everybody, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope. But... That continues to be my wish.

Anonymous said...

You're probably right, Donald. We all may think similarly when things are going smoothly. Often, we don't question our standing in God, until a situation arises.

Hey, even Jesus wondered aloud why the Father forsook Him.

You know, I'm wondering if that's when things went sour IN Judas. What if there were other issues all along?

Remember how Jesus was hanging out at a leper's house in Bethany? That might have caused some concern for His entourage. And while He was eating, some woman showed up and had the audacity to pour expensive oil all over His head. Right there in front of God and everybody.

The disciples got ruffled about that. Right there in front of Providence and everybody. Odd, really. Good looking woman shows up at dinner, anoints the Bread with oil and their first reaction was concern for the poor?

Not wanting to seem crude. But, these are the same guys who sat around the campfire, sharing lentil jokes and their first reaction was piety? Really?

Wonder what Scripture implies when it says in Matthew, "When Jesus understood it, He said..."

Remember when He explained her act as a prophetic gesture? That's when Judas made an exit to the chief priests and sold Jesus out.

Was it a money thing that bothered Judas? Or, was it because Jesus defended a woman? (was it like... "Hey... bro... I've been with you all this time and then this woman shows up? What about me? What's up with that? C'mon man. Check this - you know I've worked alongside you all these years, feeding the hungry, doing the stuff that really mattered.")

Was it wasted ointment that sent him over the edge? Or, was it because she was going to be memorialized for what appeared to be a foolish act?

Judas looked for opportunities to betray Jesus after His remarks. But, the big picture, is that it was planned from the very beginning and none of it confounded Christ.

Donald said...

Gazelle, I not only agree with what you said there at the last, but I am so glad that you responded. I lay in bed after I had written that last response and wondered if it might come across as sounding argumentative or confrontational because that was far from what I want. I just wanted to discuss stuff because I don't get that opportunity much anymore in real life because I have stopped attending regular church services (which I actually do miss greatly). But since I've been exposed to CITN, I just can't seem to settle for anything else. Oh way to go Bishop! Thanks alot, see it's all your fault!
But anyway, enjoyed the interaction, and have a fab-tabulous Easter.

Anonymous said...

Relax, Donald. I didn't think you were being confrontational or argumentative at all.

I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction, too. When I read the Scriptures, they really are words of life to me & I kinda get a little overzealous.

I apologize if my diatribe provoked anything other than thoughtful consideration. (but I'm not sorry for writing any of it - hehe)

Have a spectacular Easter!