Deuteronomy 15

There need be no poor/you will always have poor.

The lord loves us and provides enough for mankind. Society will always have inequality, but we are to actively minimise it. 

Here are the rules by which all debts were to be cancelled every 7 years. God wanted all his people to do well, not a stratified society.

Beyond that, they are told to live by the spirit of being an open-handed and generous society. So to exploit the rules by being less generous because you know the 7th year approaches is a sin. 

And servants are to be allowed the choice to be free. They are all descended from slaves, their society cannot support involuntary slavery. Think how that must have affected the life of servants every day, knowing that they could be free after 7 years.

God’s vision of society is just and generous. We were all slaves. All we have comes from him, we aren’t to hoard it or lord it.

Luke 13

Such a strong theme of the urgency of our time here on earth. We are here to bear  fruit. Jesus must be God because who else would compare people to a tree that should be cut down or left another year?

Another humiliation for the Pharisees. But it is richly deserved. Jesus is healing. HEALING. And all they can see is that he is doing it on the Sabbath. They say they serve god more than anyone. But when they meet him, all they see is a threat to their position.

Jesus may have been 30 but he’s reminding us to live like teenagers. Do things from simple faith and a desire to do what’s good. Don’t think about the consequences.

Why is it that as we get older we live less and less with a sense of the shortness and urgency of our days, and more constrained by the cruft of our years. The young irresponsible attitude of living like there is no tomorrow is a literally the correct view from Jesus’ perspective. After all, he is eternal. He wants us to live like Roman candles, like flairs that burn with grace and die. No point staying unlit.

The mustard seed parable… Kingdom of God is pure potential, like a tiny seed that turns into a whole ecosystem. Kingdom of God is an activating agent… The live yeast that turns ordinary paste like flour and water into bread. He’s sort of saying it’s not a place, it’s an idea powerful enough to turn into the most concrete thing, more than earth. Powerfully transformative. You’d think from our teaching in churches that pounds and pounds of yeast was required, but a little heaven for a very long way.

Luke 12

We all have spiritual work to do. Mine is ministry to the kids. To our friends. The people at church. In thinking about using my music for spiritual work, after reading nick cave say that all music is spiritual.

Jesus is positively bipolar to highlight the importance of our spiritual work in this chapter.  Don’t worry at all about the material things of life. You won’t add an hour to your life by worrying. Lovely! Hard!

Be very very aware of being watchful for the return of the master. If you have been given much, much is expected of you. The rich fool dies while plotting his earthly treasure. So many strong messages about bad priorities.

Death is nothing to fear compared to the one who can throw you into hell. Nothing you hide will stay hidden… Your darkest hypocrisy will be shouted from the roof tops. Death is a big theme here. Very aware of the allotted time on earth and the expectation to use it well. It’s so short!

Or time on earth will involve division not peace.  The “do not worry” stands out in a chapter of lots of things pointing out what an utter disaster is trusting in your own strength and not taking god seriously.

Jesus demands absolute faith, you’ve really got to throw your lot totally with him.

In a week where I am swallowed up by my failure to cope with the practicalities of life this is overwhelming. It feels like I don’t have the luxury of choice. I am not pleasing God or Mammon. I am a total failure.  All I can do is pray.  For clarity, for sense. We should downscale. Project downscale.