On Being Seen

Luke 24:13-35 – The 3rd Sunday of Easter – for Sunday, May 4, 2014

“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” (Luke 24:31)

I stumbled through seminary in the midst of the 20th century, probably passing subjects like Ancient Greek and Old Testament Theology because of a professor’s pity on those of us brave enough or naïve enough (or both) to consider ministry. In seminary, I often (desperately) flipped through a book’s pages until discovering a quote to satisfy the low bar of my needs for a paper on the beatitudes or Paul’s notion of justification by faith. Alas, the 21st century of googling has elevated me into the depths of being a slacker. I’m a copy-and-paste dude, a cherry-pick-the-Bible-verse guy and a search-for-the-selective-facts fella that quickly (desperately) seeks something—anything, please—to bolster and boost my opinion.the-road-to-emmaus-daniel-bonnell

Have I lowered your opinion of me enough?

Even so, please join me on the road to Emmaus.

You know Emmaus, don’t you?

Of course you do. I assume many my blog’s treasured readers are primarily churchy, faithy and Christiany ministers. And those equally treasured readers that don’t professionally marry, bury and baptize are at least interested in the Bible. In religion. In God. In Jesus.

So I’m preaching to the proverbial choir when I ask if you know Emmaus. Luke’s author said the village was seven miles from Jerusalem, or—to hew closer to the ancient languages I (tried to) study in seminary—Emmaus was 60 or so stadia from the City of David. In Greek measurements, a stadion is 600 feet. 60 stadia would be equivalent to 6.8 miles and modern Biblical translations round that up to seven miles.

How long does it take you to walk seven miles? Continue reading →

A Daily Genesis

tioga-pass_8994_600x450I rise early.

Usually around 4:00am.

I suppose this makes me peculiar compared to some folks. But, for me, rising early seems as natural as breathing.

There are many reasons for this pattern, the most prominent being this was the time I could most easily set aside for writing. For as long as I can remember, I have experienced the early morning moments as my creative time.

It’s a mystery to me that someone could do anything creative in the evening. When my wife worked on her Ph.D. dissertation, her most productive hours occurred after 9:00pm and continued into the wee, small hours of the morning.

How odd.

But it worked for her!

Sometimes, during that dissertation time, we would pass each other in the darkness; her finally headed for bed, me plunging into the new day.

The early time is more than just the best time for me to do my “creative” work. It has at least two gifts, and both are worthy of royalty.

Most early mornings, whether near summer’s longest day or winter solstice’s brevity, I rise in darkness. The world beyond my east-facing window is black and foreboding; the faint glow spilling outside from my office light barely affects the immensity of the unseen space beyond. I know my yard is there, with its patchy grass and orange trees and oleanders. But I can’t see them. Out my window, just past waking, I can imagine a thousand miles of open space or, if I want to amp up my anxiety, the possibility that unknown creatures slither through the night.

Out there is a kind of chaos. Unseen. Unsettling. Darkness. Continue reading →