The days have been pretty busy. Sunday night the Sci-Fi channel started up their “Dune” mini-series follow-up “Children of Dune” so that’s taken up a huge chunk of Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday night. Well, actually only two hours, but then because they tend to repeat the showing two additional times back-to-back each night, I had to catch those parts too. I’m kind ‘a weird that way. Ack. TV, what a wonderful productivity killer.
Actually in view of all that, I’ve gotten a ton of stuff done. Monday night I sent off my income tax, went shopping for more diet stuff (@ Target this time), then watched TV. After TV I spent a little time “unwinding” with Danni.com and then as odd as this is going to seem read a couple of chapters of my bible before falling asleep.
I found it to be an interesting “coincidence” that tonight’s chapters were Matthew 4 & 5: Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert, the beginning of his Ministry and Sermon on the Mount. Ack. Big Ack. Ok, before I make this all about moi, I have to focus on the text. The process for me is not to look at my life, then look at the bible and then make a comparison. That’s how I got into the old mess which eventually led to me no longer reading the bible. The process is to accept myself for who I am and then open myself up to the possibilities as I read the text. In this case, this first chapter (4) is about Jesus beginning his ministry and coming face-to-face with the things that he will not have in his life if he is going to do what he wants to do. And as Matthew is very much going to do, he faces these fears very much like the prophets of old, in the form of a confrontation with the devil. For the most part the “food and riches” items that Jesus is tempted with are not wrong in an of themselves. It’s the context and attitude. There is also an none-too-subtle equation with wealth being the realm of the devil. My take on this is that a “self-made person” is going to be more likely to full of themselves and attribute their success to themselves and/or be of the type whose only values are those related to acquiring more goods. This is certainly not to say that there are no successful folks who are duly aware of their “luck” and fortunate position and endeavor to either spread their succes to others or at least give back to their communities. This is very much a cultural stereotype. What I see is that these temptations stood in the way of Jesus and his mission and he had to face them before he could move forward. It speaks to me about facing my own fears and, for me, seeing the mission to which I’ve been called to. Alas, it’s now lunch time. I’ll have to get to Chapter 5 later. JBB