Friday, August 6, 2010

Matthew 16: 19-20 The Keys to the Kingdom
Once the Church became institutional it began to teach that "what you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven" as something to do with membership or forgiveness of sin and confession. But I think that Jesus was thinking more in terms of whatever you do as a public leader, Peter, will affect the hearts of others. That is, the Kingdom is within. It is not the church institution and it is not up in the sky in some other world. It is within. To have the "key" means that your actions will affect the spiritual life of other people. So be careful what you do as a public leader. The institution cannot excommunicate people from God who is within and stays in the heart regardless of external rulings. But external rulings can nevertheless upset the heart of the person so affected.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Matthew 14: 25-31 Peter walks on water, for a moment or so. When the disciples saw jesus walking on water, they were terrified. This is the attitude of much religion around Jesus' time. Numinous, holy, divine presence was to be feared and God is to be kept at arms length. Peter seeks to bridge to a new way of being in the Presence, a bit more intimate. He wants to come to Jesus, to join him. Jesus says, "Come." This is a new way for the Holy to be acting towards us. No longer found on some mountain top or in a desert, or in the sky, God is now close and inviting. Our spiritual senses are evolving. But Peter returns to the fear mode while he is on the water. It sinks him.
Is faith in God filled with fear, and avoidance? Or do we "come" when we find the Holy in seemingly unlikely places?