land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Call no man Father

“But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-- the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23:11-12

There have been many times when I have heard people quote this to me as to why priest should not be called ‘father’. It is interesting to me that the title of ‘father’ is what is remembered and used with this text, not rabbi, nor teacher. I have never heard anyone say that we should not call someone teacher, who is in that role. Though, this text would be quotable and applicable just as it would be for the title ‘father’. When we want to use scripture, we can find ways to use it, though when we read it for insight and are still enough to actually read the larger text it somehow finds a way to use us.

This text is all about serving others. A teacher, a religious leader, a political leader, a military leader, a police officer or whomever is leading or assuming a position of authority needs to see the position as a responsibility and act of serving not as a way to gain power over others for one’s own status or gain. A leader using her or his office for monetary gain or as a way to dominate others is being abusive and moving out of the grace of God’s anointing for such a position.

Using scripture to justify a point already held is dangerous and helps lead us to assume things about God that might not be appreciated by God. Reading this passage today is a good reminder to me to pay attention more, and to be slower to think I understand what it is that is before me. The steadfast love of the Lord is new every morning, so let it be new in me with the newness of this new day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

some fun and thoughts for today

March with passion
Breath for compassion
Todotodoto Todotodoto
Eat for clarity
Embrace with charity
Betobetobe Betobetobe
Write a revolution
Question every solution
Todotodoto Todotodoto
Read everything
Drive as if with wings
Betobetobe Betobetobe
Dance to belong
Taste your song
Todotodoto Todotodoto
Sing with the depth of thirst
Face the fears of the cursed
Betobetobe Betobetobe
Love all and
Hear the call
Todotodoto Betobetobe

Advertising my opinions on my car is not my preference.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover in buying a Prius that they did not all come with Obama bumper stickers.

So many pictures
taken of your pretty face,
yet your body dances.

What happened to us?
We have gotten way too fat;
Yet we’re still the same.

O God, you can make a miracle by simply taking a breath,
Breath on my, oh, breath of God.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surprised by Joy

So often I find that it is easier to give than to receive. In fact receiving can pose an odd sense of unease that I cannot explain. But recently I found out that my car was not going to pass inspection and repair costs were looming before me. Suddenly my parents called up and offered me a new car! Needless to say I was overwhelmed. I was confronted with the reality of excitement welling up within me. Not only that, but they wanted to pick it out for me. They knew that I would pick out a used car that was sufficient. They wanted to pick out one that would be fun. When we were at the dealer I found myself having to let go of my usual acceptance of mediocrity and having to be conscious of choosing something that would be fun. It was an odd but exciting feeling. Aging and responsibility sometimes dulls our sense of delight and wonder. Here are a couple pictures of the car. I also chose my first vanity plate to go with it - WONDRUS from one of my favorite hymns, Wondrous Love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fresh local music

In recent years we have been discovering the downside and darkside to all of our processed food. We have also been rediscovering the great health benefits of whole, healthy and local food. The more we seem to process and mass produce our food the more unhealthy it becomes even though it becomes more abundant and cheaper at first. In the long run its costs upon our health are greater and its overabundance only causes us to eat more of the things we do not need. This processing of things is not limited to our food, though. We have done the same thing with many other aspects of essential elements to our life. One area of over processing that is just as damaging to our lives, and yet has not gotten the same attention, is processed music. We have mass produced and over processed our music to the point that there is little to no connection between people and the soul of sound in our lives. We are plugged in, with an overabundance of packaged bytes in our technology that have been over processed and reproduced to the point of becoming sterile. I would rather have a faulty young voice grapple with the sounds of a tune, live in front of me than the bought, re-recorded sound of some perfect famous far off celebrity. There are very few songs that I know by heart, and our processed music makes it harder for me to want to learn a song in my heart that I might sing while in the shower or walking down the street. Apart from a community or school choir or a church gathering there are very rare moments that one might actually sing anything. What was once an integral part of our society and ways in which we grew in love with each other, now is a way for some to market for manipulate to keep us from feeling like we could also participate. Life is a participatory activity, not a product to be consumed or to collect. Let us not only eat locally and healthy but also sing out our lives with the local friends and family with whom we live.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Trying new wines

We have been trying new wines at church for communion. For the last two weeks we have been using the Villager wine from Oyster River Winery. This week, Oct 2 we will be using the Come Spring wine from Savage Oaks. Here are a couple of pictures from our wine gathering, one from Savage Oaks and another from Sweetgrass Winery (whose wine we will be using on Oct 30th) Emily, Elias and Juliette are in the picture.
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