We have given thanks. We have come before the altar of the Lord, figuratively or in fact. To acknowledge our blessings and share our gifts. Ourselves above all. We have listened to the angel trumpets and the sweet voices rising to the heavens to proclaim that the king of Israel still rules from valley to mountaintop. We are making a new beginning. A new year. Resolutions abound. As we take up the mantle of a new year, it is time to take the spirit of Paul with us, to walk the dusty roads of lst century Judea, and experience the man who inspired not just Paul and those who came within his orbit, but a world, one person a time.
Jesus of Nazareth is more than a one-dimensional figure of history. As a human being, a man who was perhaps a carpenter or a stonemason, a man who worked with his hands and had a life we know little about for almost thirty years. We know he was a devout Jew who believed in the tenants of the Hebrew faith, and in his very life seemed to embody the journey of his people. From the gospel accounts of his life, we know that scattered across the pages of scripture are differing view of who he was and what he was about. Even his band of disciples were at odds as to what to make of him and even to his family he was a puzzlement. He often talked in riddle-speak, challenged the status quo and turned more than tables on their heads. In other words, he upset how others viewed their lives and their world-view.
Today, to some, his message seems clean, clear cut, pragmatic, prosaic. However, it was not then and it is not now. We are loathe to make it so today, lest we miss the man, his meaning and message.
If we do not know what to make of Jesus of Nazareth, we are not alone. Evidenced by the obvious: there are four separate accounts of the ‘good news’ of his life. One of those gospels does not conform to the style of the other three, expressing what he knew of his friend in more poetic language. The Word became flesh.
My aim for 2017 is to enter into the life of Jesus of Nazareth so that the Word might become flesh in my life and perhaps in yours. Whether we realize it or not, the spirit of St. Paul pulses throughout the gospels. We are not leaving Paul behind. But weaving his message when it’s the mark with the spirit and message of the evangelists. St. Paul, as well as St. John, wanted in their own ways to empower belief in Yeshua (which means in Hebrew simply Yahweh saves) of Nazareth so that others might know that in having Jesus they/we have everything; so that all might be ‘saved’ – saved for him.
[Note: Soon you will be redirected from this site to a blog site which may be entitled Following in the Footsteps of Jesus or simply Journey with Jesus.]
Happy New Year!