Shameless Prayer

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Ask and you shall receive?  Knock and the door shall be answered?  Well, I want me some of that!

But not so fast, we have to take this into context.  What happens around this statement?  Well, we start this story with the disciples asking for Jesus to tell them how to pray.  Sounds simple enough.  But let’s think about the source.  These are the disciples.  These are the people who argue about which of them is going to sit at Jesus’ right hand in heaven.  They are the ones who hack off Centurion ears and want to know when Jesus is going to overthrow the Roman Empire.  They usually have something more in their questions and thoughts.

What they’re really asking is for Jesus to give them the special super-secret Jesus prayer.  The one that God hears and says, “Ooooo some of Jesus’ people!  I better listen up.”  And Jesus, being our loving and parable saying God, does not answer as simply as it seems at first.

The prayer Jesus taught them, the Lord’s prayer, is about forming the one who prays closer to God and closer in the likeness and image of Christ.  Even more than that, this passage of scripture is clearly the work of the first century Mediterranean world.

The Lord’s Prayer is not an American prayer.  We Americans are individualistic , pull-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstraps people.  If we want something done, then we get it done.  That’s not this prayer.

For one thing, it’s not my or me, it’s us, us, us.  The Lord’s Prayer is a communal prayer.  The focus on the prayer is not individual needs.  What are the foci of the prayer?  Well the main focus is the first line:  that God will be venerated and everything after that is how God will be venerated.  God is venerated when we work to make the Kingdom of God an earthly reality, that our needs, EVERYONE’S needs, are satisfied in order for us to keep working for that reality, that our relationship with God and with each other be right and just, and that we not come into hard times. 

The Lord’s Prayer is about growing closer to God and we do that through praying it over and over and OVER again.  Until the words reverberate in our minds and our hearts until they become embedded in our very souls.  We pray it until we go through our days with the gauze of the Lord’s Prayer wrapped around our eyes, seeing the world through the film of “How can I venerate God through this?  How can I help the Kingdom of God become a reality today?  How can I make sure Jane gets her daily bread?  How can I make my relationship with God closer?  How can I help my relationship with my husband, wife, father, mother, sister, brother?”

Wait?  What’s that?  Oh I hear you out there!  I hear it!  I hear you saying, “Alright, that all sounds good but what about that part about not coming into hard times?  What about getting what I pray for?  That part about knocking and asking and opening and receiving?”

It’s a hard question.  No doubt about it.  We’ve all had those prayers at the midnight hour when we have nothing but the salt of our tears on our lips to console us.  At places like Yale, we give it big names and call it theodicy or the problem of evil.  We read books, articles, and sermons about it.  People spend their whole lives on that one question .  And you know what?  None of those answers will fully satisfy why your loved one died, that hurricane hit, or that bomb went off.

This is one of those places when the rubber meets the road of faith.  When we believe beyond all evidence to the contrary.  When we believe beyond all our understanding.  However, in this passage, Jesus does provide us with tools to help our faith.

Notice in the very first line of the prayer it says “Father.”  Not God.  Not YHWH.  Father.  We are to have a relationship with God like that of a child to a parent.  We address our prayers like a child speaking to a parent.  A parent is one who cares for and provides for his or her child beyond that child’s means or ability.  In effect Jesus says to his disciples, “Look, you care for your children, right?  God cares for you!  God’s not going to give you poison after you ask for food!”

But you know, it also means that God isn’t going to give you something that harms you.  Now, be honest, we’ve all prayed for some pretty foolish things.  When we look back and think, “Well if I had gotten that, it would have been terrible!  Nothing good would have come out of that! 

That’s one reason that we don’t get what we ask for in our prayers.  Another is that God DOES answer our prayers, just not in the way we expect them to be answered. That’s what happens to Abraham in our reading this morning.  God agrees to every one of Abraham’s petitions, and Abraham expects that Sodom and Gomorrah will be saved as a result.  But that’s not what happens.  The cities are razed regardless.

But neither of these answers fully satisfy our hunger to know why bad things happen.  We want to know why God doesn’t swoop in and save the day.  We want to know why God doesn’t put a stop to human wickedness.  And we don’t know.  This is our faith.  That we believe in spite of it all.  We believe in spite of the evil and hurt that we see, taste, touch, hear, and smell.  We believe.

We may not know why these things happen, but we do know that God hears our prayers.  That God is with us in the suffering.  God sits with us beside that hospital bed and loves us through it all.  God shares our suffering.

Now, I don’t want you leaving here thinking that you shouldn’t pray about something or that you should closely regulate your prayers because Jesus says that is not what we are to do.  The friend keeps knocking and we are to keep praying.

I have to tell you that I hate the way the eighth verse is translated in our passage.  Persist is such a terrible translation of that word.  Persist gives you a technical definition while missing the essence of it.  Like having Coca-Cola described to you as being fizzy, cold, and sweet without feeling it in your mouth and tasting it.

The word being translated here is αναδειαν which means a “lack of sensitivity to what is proper, carelessness about the good opinion of others.” In other words, shamelessness.  Sure, the man persists in knocking on the door asking for the bread, but the point is that he’s shameless about it.  It doesn’t matter to him that his friend thinks he’s being rude.  He keeps asking anyway.

We are to be shameless in our prayers.  We pray, and pray, and pray some more and we are definitely not to be self-conscious about our prayers.  You don’t think you should pray about that?  Pray about it anyway.  And when you have, pray on it again.

Pray to God our parent.  Pray that God’s kingdom be established on Earth.  Pray that all of our daily needs be met.  Pray for right relations with God and our neighbors.  Pray that we do not come into those hard times.  Pray about the weather, pray about the economy, pray about our world.  And when you do pray.  May your prayers be shameless.

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The Gospel

I wrote the following for my Anglican Colloquium course that asked us to define the Gospel in 250 words.  I don’t know where it came from, but a version of this has been tinkering in my head all semester.

The Gospel is a dirty window through which I see the Godman, Jesus.  It feeds, it nourishes, but, maddeningly, it never satisfies.  I can hear the Christ say to love my neighbor, eat the bread of life, and to make friends with dirty money.  I think I see miracles of keeping the wine going, feeding the thousands, and the healing of many, so many, cripples, but I can never quite make it out through the flaxen, grimy window.  I want to know more.  I want to talk to him.  He says something about lilies and birds and God’s love for us.  The Godman says to keep my wick trimmed and burning.  What wick?  Why burn it?

Why can’t I see more?!  I try to clean it for a clearer picture, but the window remains unchanged.  I know what’s going to happen.  I don’t need to see it again.  I need details.  I need more than words.  But the Godman snaps and throws the tables in the place most holy.  It practically signed his death warrant.  I know of the sacrifice and the benediction:  “Forgive them for they know not.”  Through his loved ones I feel and see the hope of the resurrection.  I beg the window for more, but it just begins the story again.  Perhaps, one day, if I try hard enough or look hard enough or live into the resurrection hard enough, I’ll see more.  At my end, I will be able to go through that window.

Being Thrown By the Winnowing Fork

Sermon text:  Luke 3:15-22

“He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire.” In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Have you ever seen a kid tell a story with parts of it that he just really doesn’t want to report?

“Sweetie how was your day?”

“Well…first there was class.  We painted.  Then there was recess, and I played with other kids.  …Then Billy called me a doo-doo head, and I punched him, and I got suspended.  What did you do today, Mom?”

 

That’s how I imagine Luke in this Gospel telling:

“And John was all like, ‘I baptize you with water, but then you’re gonna get baptized with FIRE!’ and then there was a winnowing fork and some chaff and then Herod was like, ‘Uh uh you go to PRISON!’…AndthenJesusgotbaptizedwideverybodyelse…But Jesus had these really cool ancestors!”

But why was Luke uncomfortable with this?  I like to imagine some enterprising member of Luke’s audience speaking up, “Hold up now, Luke.  I thought you said people got baptized to repent of their sins?”

“Yes, this is so…”
“But you also said that Jesus had no sin.”
“That is also so…”
“Why is Jesus getting baptized then?”

“Don’t worry about why Jesus got baptized!  MOVING ON WITH THE STORY!”

 

The stories around Jesus’s baptism tell us why Jesus got baptized.  John’s message about the winnowing fork and baptism by fire combined with Jesus’s genealogy tell us about the sin-riddled nature of humanity.

Sin is in every human being.  It is a part of the human condition.  Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.  Jesus’s baptism is a powerful message about the Incarnation and Christ identifying with humanity, for he was baptized with everyone else.

Christ Breadlines

 

Imagine it.  Christ, the sinless, standing in the midst of these sin-riddled beings.  It’s a powerful image.

 

But as full of sin as we are, we should take hope in John the Baptist’s message.

 

I have to be honest, I hated stuff like this when I was a child.  I would just think to myself, “I sin all the time!  I lied yesterday!  I’m gonna burn up as chaff!”

 

But that just isn’t the way we should hear this passage.  We all have sin.  It’s foolish to try and label people as being a sinner or not, for every individual grain has chaff.

 

Do you know what a winnowing fork is?  It looks a bit like a pitch fork, and the way it is used is the person takes the fork, throws the wheat into the air, and the wind comes in and rips the chaff off the wheat grains.

In other words, “one is coming,” read Jesus, who will take a winnowing fork to his harvest, us, throw the wheat into the air, and then the wind, πνευμα same word used for Holy Spirit, will come and rip the chaff, the sin, away from us to be burned in the baptism by fire.

 

But let’s get real.  Rippin’ ain’t easy.  In fact, it often hurts like hell.  But it’s a necessary process.  We can all remember those difficult or low times in which the Holy Spirit was shaping and teaching us.  Those times that we look back and say, “I do not want to do that again, but I won’t say that I wish it hadn’t happened.”

So, the next time that you’re having one of those low times and painful times and you feel the Holy Spirit shaping and teaching you.  One of those times when you just grit your teeth and want the procedure over with already.  When you’re having one of those times and someone has the absolute gall to ask you, “Hey, how are you?”

 

Winnowing forkJust look at them and say, “I’m being thrown by the winnowing fork.  You?”

 

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

Luke 2:8-15 (Standard Redneck Version)[1]

“Amos, I done told you.  If ya lost one sheep, you sure as hell wouldn’t leave ninety-nine other ones to go look for it!” Hezekiah said.

“I don’t care!  I’d go get it out of the principle of the thing!  It’s my sheep, and I ain’t about to let it wander off!” Amos said indignantly.

“You wouldn’t know a principle if it reared up and bit you in the ass.”  Jonah snorted.

“THAT’S IT!  I’m tired of this!  I knew I shouldn’t’ve left my sycamore trees for sheep!  I’m out!” Amos said as he rose to storm out.  But when he did an angel came out a nowhere.  It was shinin’ and lookin’ like nuttin’ from this world.  Right off the bat, Amos started screamin’ bloody murder.

“Jonah get ya staff!  I knew we shouldn’t’ve come this close to Samaria!  Ain’t nuttin’ but weirdos and freaky shinin’ things come outta there!”  Hezekiah shouted.  Jonah got up with his staff and was about to knock the angel a good one when the angel raised his hands and spoke with a voice like nuttin’ you ever heard.

“Y’all calm down now!  It’s alright I’m from YHWH.” the angel said.  Amos kept on screamin’ like a fool, so Jonah slapped him ‘till he shut up.  “I got some good news for y’all!  Back in David’s hometown a Savior was born.  A Messiah I tell you!  THE LORD!  Y’all will know when you found him cause he’ll be a baby wrapped up in some rags in a cow trough.”

“I don’t know that I trust this joker, Jonah.  Babies get born all the time.  I don’t wanna leave the flock.  He probably just got into his daddy’s white lightnin’ and is outta his fool mind.” Hezekiah said.

“The white lightnin’ doin’ all those freaky lights too, Hezekiah?” Jonah asked sarcastically.  Amos whimpered.  Before Hezekiah could answer, a whole group of them angels came outta nowhere and started singin’ and dancin’ like they was at a gospel concert!

They said, “Glory!  I said glory to God in the highest!  Glory in the highest of heavens!  And peace be with all y’all on Earth!”

Then almost as soon as they got there, all of ‘em took outta there like a cat with its tail on fire.  After that, the shepherds looked at each other, and Jonah said, “Ohhhh we got to go to Bethlehem and see this s***!  YHWH told us, so we gotta go!”  So Jonah, Hezekiah, and Amos took off at a trot for Bethlehem.

Merry Christmas, y’all!


[1] This is just something I thought up this morning while I was cooking breakfast for the family.  I hope you all have a blessed Christmas.

Church the Morning After a Schism

This morning I got called a goat, but I still loved the man who called me that.

Let me explain, the Diocese of South Carolina has been having issues with the Episcopal Church for years because of the Episcopal Church’s actions to be open and affirming of people who are not heterosexual.  The last straw for them, it seems, was TEC’s approval of same-sex unions in this past General Convention.  Recently, based on charges brought up within the Diocese of South Carolina, the Episcopal Church suspended Bishop Mark Lawrence’s abilities and privileges as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.  Lawrence, based on the knowledge of other diocesan fights with the Episcopal Church, was attempting to hand out quitclaim deeds to parishes within the diocese that the Episcopal Church no longer claimed those churches as their property.  Yesterday, the Diocese of South Carolina met in Charleston, South Carolina and voted by a large majority to reaffirm its relationship with Mark Lawrence and to sever all ties with the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.

As you know, I recently joined the Episcopal Church.  Just a few days after making this decision, I searched for a church near my home that I could attend.  None of the Episcopal churches I found online reflected the values of the Episcopal Church I had come to know and join.  I was confused and curious, so I searched out the diocese online.  I found all the news articles about the bishop and the diocese’s anti-TEC actions, and I entered into a seething rage.  I did not rant or rave.  In fact, I hardly spoke about it at all, but I was angry.  I had found a church home.  A church home that had made a serious commitment to follow the second greatest commandment,[1] and, of course, of course, the diocese that my hometown is a part of was making an ass out of itself on the national stage.  I was angry, and every time I was connected, wrongfully, with that diocese it was like salt in a wound.

Fast-forward to yesterday, the Holy Spirit was being a nagging, pain-in-the-neck again.  I knew that the meeting was taking place in Charleston.  I knew that in all likelihood, they would vote to leave the Episcopal Church, and I wanted nothing to do with it.  I washed my hands of them.  I wanted nothing to do with them.  I do believe that God was laughing at my resistance.[2]

This morning, I attended worship at Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church.[3]  This semester, I actually read about the church in one of my history books of the Episcopal Church.  The sanctuary certainly feels as old as the church is supposed to be.  After experiencing worship there this morning, my anger was reinforced, yes, but I also confronted what I had not before, my grief.

The two are not easily separated.  This morning was the first time I realized that my anger was so deep because it is laden with grief.  Obviously, I did not appreciate the rector of the church calling me, and the rest of TEC that affirms the place of the non-heterosexual in TEC, goats.[4][5]  The sermon was about how the Diocese of South Carolina is choosing the right side of the division with the Episcopal Church and how the Episcopal Church is a part of the general moral deterioration of society.[6]  It was raining this morning, and it was interesting that at the moment that the rector began pronouncing the Biblical justification of division in the church, the floodgates of the skies opened.  I watched the heads in the church turn to look out the windows as it really began pouring.

Part of my grief and anger is the Diocese of South Carolina walking away from being a voice in the wilderness for non-heterosexual inclusion.  In this part of this state, there are no churches who are preaching love for this constituency of the Kingdom of God.  In fact, I noticed during the service how much the church had made an effort to conform to the churches and the culture around Prince George Winyah Episcopal.  The Bibles in the pews, unlike every other Episcopal church I’ve been in, are NIV, not NRSV.  The churches in the area will easily recognize NIV Bibles whereas they would not with the NRSV.  Also, I noticed that the rector was rushing through the service.  Pauses in the Nicene Creed and Prayers of the People were conspicuously absent.  Then, I realized what was happening.  The rector was doing his utmost to make the liturgy fit within an hour, something that the liturgy of the Holy Eucharist in the Episcopal Church is not written to do when combined with a fifteen to twenty minute sermon.  However, all of the churches in this part of the state get out within an hour, and it is an important part of the culture that one is able to get to one’s regular table at the regular restaurant at a little after noon.  The Diocese of South Carolina could have made the decision to be witnesses for the kind of message that I never heard in my part of the state growing up.  They could have been that witness for the radical love of Christ that I did not hear until I was in college.  They’ve walked away from that.

But Prince George Winyah is clearly an Episcopal church.  We still pray the prayer of confession.  We still pray the prayer of thanksgiving.  We still recite the Nicene Creed.  I may be angry with them.  I may be hurt that they have decided to leave the Episcopal Church, but the Diocese of South Carolina is still a part of my family.[7]  I realized that God had led me to Prince George Winyah Episcopal so that my anger could be tempered with the grief of realizing what I was losing.  A part of my family has decided that they cannot be a part of it, and dammit, it hurts.  There was a moment in the Prayers of the People that I choked up and could hardly get the words out:  “For the peace and unity of the Church of God/For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.”  This morning the rector said that all of the apocalyptic messages in the Bible are clear:  There will be clear division in the end times.  There will be a clear division between those who live into the Kingdom of God and those who do not.[8]  However, amidst the coming of the Advent season, I prefer to think of the divisions amongst the church in this way:

 

“O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace.”[9]

 

I may be a fool, but I still have hope for the reconciliation of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina.  I have hope in that reconciliation in the same manner that I have hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I have hope because when I went up to receive the Eucharist, the same man who had called me a goat before, smiled at me and said, “The body of Christ broken for you” as he gave me the wafer.  And you know what?  By the time of the Eucharist in the service, the rain outside had lessened to the point of being little more than drizzle.


[1] “When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  -Matthew 22:34-40

[2] God does this routinely with me and my ideas.

[4] Matthew 25:31-46

[5] I had the thought of standing up in the pew in shouting, “Baaaaaaaaaaaaah, bitch!”  I am now glad I made the decision of not doing this.

[6] Obviously, I think that having the full inclusion of non-heterosexual people in the church is just one more part of the witness of the radical love of Jesus Christ.  Clearly, however, the Diocese of South Carolina disagrees.

[7] On Nov. 13, 2012, the eminent Anglican scholar Emilie Finn referred to the Anglican Communion as a family.  Families, as she astutely pointed out, can be functional and dysfunctional.  Families can be angry with each other, they can even hate each other, but they can’t change the fact that they’re related.

[8] Although I think we will be very surprised at who we will see among us on that fateful day in the Kingdom of God.

[9] “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

What Bible You Readin’?

This week I have discovered a pet peeve of mine.  I can’t stand the way angels are depicted in art and other visual representations.  Think about it.  The angel is usually a fair-haired, good-lookin’ white man.  We have nothing to tell us that this is how angels look, and in fact, most of the Bible stories lead us to believe that angels looked very different from what our visual representations would lead us to believe.[1]

For instance, think about the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke:  “Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him.  But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah.’”[2] Do we really think that Gabriel is basically a man with wings?  No.  Zechariah sees Gabriel and freaks out.  It’s not, “Oh wow, that dude has wings.”  He has a much stronger reaction than this.  Here’s how I imagine this exchange taking place:

*Gabriel appears in the sanctuary.  Some sort of feather or scale rustling alerts Zechariah to his presence.  I don’t know.  The whole point is that we don’t know what strangeness angels look like.*
*Zechariah turns and sees Gabriel in the sanctuary*:  “WHAA?  AaaaaaeeeeeiiiiiiiII!!!!!!!”
Gabriel:  “Zeke, I know, I look scary, but please, don’t be afraid.”
Zechariah:  *Continues screaming*
Gabriel:  “Hey!…I…you know what, just get out of your system.”
Zechariah:  *Continues screaming*
Gabriel:  “Enough of that!  I got a message from YHWH here!”

How often do angels appear to people and the first words out of their mouth, assuming they have a mouth that is, is “Do not be afraid” or some equivalent of that?  Fairly often.  Angels are not as anthropomorphized as our art and visual representations would lead us to believe.   This leads me to my deeper point.  Often, our surface reading of the Bible, or what we expect to happen, leads us to either wrong conclusions about the text or, more often, not gathering the significance of portions of the text.  Our image of the angels as pretty people with wings leads us to miss how freaked out Zechariah gets just from viewing Gabriel.

Things happen in the Bible that should make us say, “WHAT?!  That s*** just happened!”  But because it’s an ancient text there are both translation and holiness issues.  Translation issues in that even when we get the literal words, often there cultural impact isn’t immediately recognizable to us.[3]  The holiness issue in that often we put the Bible on the pedestal in such a way that the impact is taken away from us.  When we read it publicly in a monotone without any inflection or emotion, then that also leads us to miss the impact.  Often, we also frame the Biblical narrative in such a way that the messiness of the text, the fertile ground from prime theology, is taken away.

On the last point, Noah and the Ark is a prime example of this.  How are we told the Flood story when we are children, i.e. the story as we know it since we usually only discuss it as a children’s story?  Noah is a good man in a world of bad.  God tells Noah to build a really big boat because God is going to flood the world and start anew.  God then leads two of every animal to the boat, big ass boat apparently, and then Noah and all Noah’s children and their families board.  The flood comes, and they sail for forty days and nights.  Noah, Noah’s family, and all the animals land and disembark, and then God makes a rainbow promising to never do that again.  The story ends.  A nice little children’s story, right?

Wrong.  This story is incredibly twisted and fraught with problems.  Often, we float over[4] what happens during the flood.  The Bible does not, for we are graphically told, “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.”[5]

This is incredibly poetic, for just as God pours the breathe of life into the first human in Genesis chapter two, God sends the water to take it away.  It’s a reversal of the creation that God now regrets.  But let’s not get lost in the poetry.  In this story, except for Noah, his family, and the animals on the boat, God drowns every other creature on the planet.  They die excruciatingly, and what’s more, the people on the boat have to listen to them die.  Can you imagine being in a boat and listening to your fellow humans claw at the sides trying to get in to finally succumb to exhaustion and die?  Not pretty, not easy, and certainly not a children’s story.  Also, what’s the first thing that Noah does after settling his ritual obligations to God?:  “Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank some of the wine and became drunk, and he lay uncovered in his tent.”[6]  Noah is so troubled, disturbed, and emotionally scarred by what he has gone through, seen, and heard that the first chance he gets, he grows some grapes, so he can make wine and get drunk.

This is not an easy story, and it is certainly not a children’s tale.  The story also poses all kinds of challenges to our conceptions of God, our faith, and our place in the world.  But when we conveniently forget portions of a narrative or when we read it in such a way that the emotional impact is softened or taken away altogether, we cannot wrestle with those challenges and implications.  We cannot bench press those challenges with our spiritual muscles, and our faith cannot grow stronger and thrive if we conveniently forget about the weights in the corner.  What does it say that God gets pissed off with humanity and wants to click the restart button by committing mass genocide?  What does it say that one of the heroes of the Bible tackles his mental and emotional issues by getting drunk?  When we don’t confront these issues, then we are not being good stewards of our faith.  When we skip the tough stuff, we are not loving God with all of our minds.  The Bible has a great deal more to offer to us than we typically grant it, but only if we read it in such a way and present our faces to its challenges rather than shying away from them.


[1] Isaiah 6:2

[2] Luke 1:8-13

[3] Read Luke chapter three, verse seven.  Did you just go, “What did JBap just say!?”  Then you probably didn’t read it right.  Seriously, keep in mind that brood means children of and exchange snake for female dog and read the sentence again.  Yes, that’s in the Bible.

[4] Get it?  Float over the flood?  Oh forget it.

[5] Genesis 7:21-24

[6] Genesis 9:20-21