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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Num 16:16 and Mark 14:72 "Recipe Theology" (March 15)

My life is steeped in confusion right now. I want to dismiss it, dissipate it, drive it away. Does God want us to be confused? What happens when I am present in what I face this day? Number 16:16 ~ Be wholly present before the LORD.  There will be no room for "recipe theology" as Crabb calls it in The Second Adam.  He says that we should not look at the confusion as something to be solved but as something to be entered. But, how do I view the confusion in my life?

In Mark 14:72, there are two words I have never seen before:  Peter swore.  It's not something we are proud of when we breathe those hackneyed humphs.  My default mechanisms swore all-the-time when I was really young and didn't know the LORD.  But---this---this Peter is a follower of the Christ.  Wonder why Peter distances himself so much from the One he has been so attached to, every-single-day, for one thousand+ days, seeing with his own eyes one miracle-after-another. Watching Tabitha healed back to her mother's arms, witnessing demons cast out-of-control into a herd of pigs, seeing a blind man see for the very first time, hearing the scream of the Widow of Nain whose son rises from the dead,and on and on and on ... .  Unparalleled.  Unprecedented. Unbelievable. Yet, Peter swears to prove his piddly point.  And, really, what point am I trying to prove this day?  That I'm right?

And what happens as the rooster crows---Peter remembers.  Remembers what?  The words of his very own Christ---you will deny me and leave me.  It was Peter who pulled away, just like me and you.  God is always waiting wide-armed open.  We are all holy Sabbath breakers picking up sticks (Numbers 15:32).  A high-handed act in the middle of community---do I do the same things?  Playing it safe, distancing ourselves from life because the pain is too overwhelming. 

And what happens when Peter remembers?  He breaks down and weeps. What will my tears be for this day? Living a present life?  Not trying to minimize the confusion of why Peter (or even me) would distance himself from the LORD but entering into the confusion and looking deeply enough at what's really stirring inside of me.  Finding tearful repentance for lives lived distant, not fully present before God NOR before my husband, before my children, before my friends, before my world.  So, who am I distancing myself from this day? Will I enter this confusion or find a way to make it stop and shut down a piece of my heart?  I'm so deeply moved in hope for my high-handed sin. 

     "Recipe theology, that collection of practical biblical principles that tell us what to do in every situation, treats confusion as something to be solved rather than entered. It reduces the mysteries of life to things we can manage."                The Silence of Adam p. 66


  1. Nise'
    Just bowed my head before the One Who holds you tight as you face this MRI today. Two hurdles---getting in the machine and waiting for the interpretation. Isaiah 40:4 May your God, Who is always doing you good, lower the mountains you face this day for His Glory in you and through you. You honor Him so!

  2. I am waiting for the results of my biopsy to come back. What should I fear?

    I have a prayer request besides the one that I don't have cancer again---smile---I am simply swallowed up in the teaching job I am doing. If I give it up, I lose a very good job. If I do what I'm being asked, I'm overwhelmed with making it work. I absolutely LOVE teaching high school students---love love love what I'm doing, except, it's all day and evenings too and I have to pull back---but how? Pray for a way and that I hear His Voice. Thank you so much.

  3. I meant to say "sigh" instead of "smile" ---

  4. Bev, may you hear that still small voice that says, this is the way walk you in it. May it be so clear and distinct that you know the answer is from Him and Him alone. Praying for a great report for you also.

    May we each one follow Him up close and not at a distance. Asking myself exactly what does that mean for me?

  5. You are absolutely precious to me, Mary Lou. Thank you for supporting someone you've never met, reaching way down deep into my soul.

  6. Thank you for your prayers. You are so right Bev, getting in the machine was nerve racking, but God showed up and calmed me right down. He is so good all.the.time!

    Praying for you as you await results too. Also for your teaching job- that you will have clear direction from the Lord.

    As I was laying on the flat board waiting to go in the machine and feeling so nervous today's reading came to this anxiety/fear a form of denial. He promises His presence, how could I think He would not be true to Himself?

  7. Listening to all of you share your faith is so pure to me today. We praise the One who dusts off our skinned knees in a spiritual sense. Peter...the flesh was weak when fear, Great Fear, rose up in the chaos of Christ's arrest. But Pentecost brought him a Gift of the out-pouring of God's Power and he became a giant of Grace.

    I want to praise Him today for something sweet that took me by surprise yesterday. I worked 10 hours at my job, headed home tired, pulled up on the interstate and asked God for a surprise. Just a little something to touch my heart with His Love. I detoured through Zaxby's drive-through and ordered a House Salad to take home for supper. As I hurried to hand the lady my cash, she handed me my salad and told me the woman ahead of me had paid for my order!

    Made my day! I drove home crying thanking Him for the surprise and asking Him to bless her. Now I'm looking for my own way to surprise someone.

    Bev and Nise, you are in His care. So brave and yet so human. I'm thankful for all of you here. Praying for another day to praise His name.

  8. Real life is full of such as this. Health tests, fears, looking for His next ordained step, blessings in take-out lines...friends who are sisters in the Lord sharing hearts and days.

    Lifting you each here up to the Throne of Extravagant Grace this night, as I wait in the dark for Mike to come home from a day tending beehives. Greg and he both are allergic, they've been stung so many times. They keep epi-pens close by, but it still is a fear challenge.

    Praying for faith to rise up within each of us. For us to know that we know HIM as He revealed Himself in these readings, that He is the Christ, the One Who comes in Power and full glory with the clouds of heaven.

    "Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

    Blessed be His Name as we confess our desperate needs before Him. Blessed be His Name.

  9. Nise' - breathing a sigh of relief for you and waiting with you

    Mary Lou - thanking you again and again

    Deborah - smiling real big and thanking the One Who heard you and arranged the circumstance

    Annette - reveling in God's awesome power in your words, your life

    My Love to Each of You, Bev