Thursday, April 29, 2010

Prayer the Jesus Way

I've been looking at the passage for this week's sermon (Luke 11). It's on prayer, it's by Jesus, and it starts in a reasonably unassuming way...

"He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:

Then I came across this note in People’s NT Commentary, "The believer comes to God in prayer without flattery, bribery, or manipulation but already has God’s ear, just as a child has the attention of a good parent."

That stopped me, and I had to ask: Would that change the way we pray?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Good Samaritan and e.e. cummings

This week, at Bidwell Presbyterian, we're learning about how to follow Jesus through the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Here's the stunning take on Jesus's words by the underrated 20th century poet, e.e. cummings.

I'll let the poem speak for itself:

a man who had fallen among thieves
lay by the roadside on his back
dressed in fifteenthrate ideas
wearing a round jeer for a hat
fate per a somewhat more than less
emancipated evening
had in return for consciousness
endowed him with a changeless grin
whereon a dozen staunch and Meal
citizens did graze at pause
then fired by hypercivic zeal
sought newer pastures or because
swaddled with a frozen brook
of pinkest vomit out of eyes
which noticed nobody he looked
as if he did not care to rise
one hand did nothing on the vest
its wideflung friend clenched weakly dirt
while the mute trouserfly confessed
a button solemnly inert.
Brushing from whom the stiffened puke
i put him all into my arms
and staggered banged with terror through
a million billion trillion stars