PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 6th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3513)

I Don’t Fit

I don’t fit the manger scene

Not a lass who’s barely fourteen

Nor a man who heeds his dreams

I’m too possessed with my schemes

Never sheepish, devoid of sin

Willing to welcome a baby in

Yet perhaps an ass from the working class

Grunting a complaint over midnight cries

Where would I fit, with all my lies?

I would be the shepherd who remained with the flock

Bound and determined to punch the clock

“Angels we have heard on high”

Don’t pay the rent–let ’em fly

Bethlehem’s too simple and quaint

No time to stress or offer complaint

I just don’t seem to belong

With angels singing a heavenly song

Go to bed, get some sleep

Rise again to sow and reap

For I would never stare at the sky

Believing a star had the answers why

And trek across the desert sand

A stranger in a foreign land

To burst into tears of joy

Because I found Heaven’s Boy

I’m so glad I missed Holy Night

Because I would have failed to see the light

‘Tis the story that touches my pagan soul

And allows me a chance to be made whole

I don’t fit in the manger scene

With Mama and child, so serene

God was smart, with all His clout

To give me time to figure it out

 

 

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Good News and Better News… April 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3280)

Jesus was the Good Shepherd. (Well, I guess He still is, since no one else is qualified or particularly interested in the job.) He spent his whole life trying to find a way to be a caretaker for sheepish human souls.

It began with thirty years of family life–a mother, father, sisters and brothers trying to get along in cramped quarters, being hunted down daily by poverty.

Then, when he felt a stirring in his soul to do more, his desires were struck down by the locals, who insisted he should remain the “carpenter’s son.”

So he moved a little bit down the road to a town called Capernaum, and started a house-front church–Peter’s house. It became very popular–so much so that the folks literally started tearing the walls out.

But then his family got wind of his doings, thought he was crazy and came out to take him home. A little bit of scandal. Suddenly the citizens of Capernaum were not quite as interested anymore.

So Jesus turned to his handful of disciples and said, “Well, let’s take the show on the road.”

He became an evangelist. Since he figured no one in Galilee or Judea was particularly interested, he went to Samaria. He met a woman who helped him build energy and in no time at all there was some excitement and thrilling deeds in the works.

Unfortunately, when he returned back to Samaria shortly thereafter, they wouldn’t let him share anymore because they found out he liked Jews–and they hated them.

He decided to return to Galilee to live off the land and just see who came in. Eventually there were seventy of them–one of those church sizes that is so common today.

Jesus motivated them, sent them out two by two, and their work was so successful that within a few months, Jesus found himself teaching five thousand people–an unbelievable growth spurt.

Jesus had himself a mega church. He was not only leading them but also feeding them. But when he began teaching them about personal responsibility, and the fact that his congregants needed to be on a spiritual journey to have the heart of God toward humanity, they objected. Matter of fact, they got angry, started “splits,” and before you know it, Jesus lost 4,988 members.

He was left with twelve.

That’s a pretty drastic dip. I would think he would have had a tendency to question his technique, method or even wisdom. But Jesus went the other direction. He continued to minister to the twelve disciples, but he focused on three: Peter, James and John.

And although the Good Book says that five hundred witnesses saw him after the resurrection, only 120 were around for the Day of Pentecost.

But Jesus had even shrunk his vision of the three “best friend” disciples down to one.

Yes, on a cool morning by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus stood by the water with Simon Peter and said, “Feed my sheep.”

When it turned out that Peter got a little weary, Jesus appeared on a back road near Damascus and told a chap named Saul of Tarsus, “Stop fighting it. You are meant to be a messenger.”

So even though thousands and thousands of people came Jesus’ way, encountered his message, some even walking away with miraculous healings, he intelligently placed focus on two fellows, who made it their mission to teach the parishioners around them to become disciples–and to change the world.

The good news is that the Gospel is not about building churches and getting attendance. It’s about making disciples.

And the better news is that a contented, fulfilled, excited and creative disciple can reach millions.

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