How is Jesus’ kingship, or our understanding and experience of it, shaped by Jesus’ encounter with Pilate one Sunday and readings about impending doom the very next? The Daily Office readings give us one sense of how to negotiate this space by backing up the story to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem.
The story of Esther teaches us to use status in wise, clever, and good ways: to protect those that need protecting; to be courageous in the face of uncertain times; to be shrewd in moments of instability and change; to be thoughtful, careful, and persuasive as the norm, rather than irrational, headstrong, and shrill like the egomaniacal Haman.
I don’t know about you, but when I read about Paul’s vision of heaven, the first thing I wonder about is not what Paul saw, but what that thorn in his side was.
If Paul were with us today, I’d ask him why he shared that rather personal bit of information about himself. My imagination digresses into all the different possibilities for what might have ailed the apostle.
It seems like it was serious. Paul’s metaphor carries with it something more than just a minor annoyance. In fact, it sounds like it bothered the hell out of him. He was desperate to be rid of it.