Feb 2018, Christ Mountain Top
to Worship, Psalm 25.1-10
most painful things that have happened in my life:
world to UMC
church from scratch
found myself in Robin’s arms
in the arms of God
main characters in the exchange around this last word:
The criminal who prays to Jesus
the perspective of the Romans, he was a radical terrorist, out to upset their
the perspective of Jesus’ kingdom, he was someone who advocated violence
instead of peace
you were aligned with his world view, he was dying a martyr’s death. Otherwise,
he was either a terrorist or a failure.
taunting of Jesus, by leaders, soldiers, criminal (Fitzmyer, 1501)
yourself (a failed savior)
you are Messiah/King (a failed king)
thing we know of that was written of Jesus in his lifetime: the inscription
above him on the cross, “This is the king of the Jews” (1502).
Jesus was a failure – not a king or a savior.
the other criminal prays, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”
kings die, their kingdom is over
made him think that Jesus was yet to come into his kingdom? Stanley Hauerwas
asks, “What made it possible for one criminal to recognize that this loser
hanging on the cross will come into a kingdom?” (Cross-Shattered Christ, 38).
story doesn’t tell us, perhaps because it is beside the point.
this unanswered question is a clue to understanding what Paul means when he
writes that even faith itself is a gift of God.
& last miscarriage
answered the criminal’s prayer: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
promise of life after death, yes (even prior to resurrection!)
much, much more
key expressions in the answered prayer:
an intensive present, “here and now” – even while dying
me” is the primary location, no matter where we are we are with Jesus
Living or dying, we are “with the Lord forever”, 1
Paradise” is the secondary location, being “with Jesus” is being “in Paradise”
Paul’s ecstatic vision paired with thorn in the flesh
Promise in the Revelation to those who overcome
Experience of the exiles
“More abundant is the favor shown than the request made” (Fitzmyer 1508) –
to our prayers at final miscarriage
Hauerwas, Cross-Shattered Christ
Moltmann, The Crucified God
A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke