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Be Opened

Sometimes I think I can do all of the work. I'm a capable person, you know? I can do just about anything. I can take complete control of my destiny, of my life, of my calling, of everything.

As much as it would be nice to have everything under control all of the time, I don't. I definitely made that realization while I was in NYC freaking out about my future, about my now, about my past, about everything. I'm a planner. I want to know things in advance. I planned early on, years in advance to be a US-2. I planned that seminary would be next, but now I'm not entirely convinced, and suddenly I don't have "control" anymore. Funny thing was, I didn't have it in the first place. God always has control, complete control, and better control of my life than I could ever hope to imagine.

On Sunday in NYC, we worked through Mark 7, specifically the story of Jesus healing a deaf man.

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means "Be opened!"). 35 At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

We talked about this scripture, did Lectio Divina, listened to it preached on, and then discussed it some more, we beat this scripture to death that day, and I needed it. I needed to know that God does miraculous things in strange ways. I mean, Jesus spat? He touched the man's tongue? He stuck his fingers in the man's ears? They all seem sort of strange.

For me, the first thing that stuck out was community. Perhaps it is because of what I do or how I've felt my call, but community is really important to me. The man came to Jesus because his community brought him. He wasn't seeking healing, his friends were seeking help for him. What great friends they must be for them to bring him. There is community throughout this story, from the friends, to the community telling of Jesus' divine power, but that isn't the point I'm getting to.

The point I'm getting to is about "Ephphatha", the word Jesus says to the man is packed with meaning to me. To me it means that I can't just open myself. It means that I have to be touched by Jesus, I have to be willing to let go enough and get out of my comfort zone enough for God to invade my personal space. Being used by God means getting out of my comfort zone. The words "Be opened." were described by the pastor as the "divine passive" voice. It struck me at that moment. At that moment I understood what it meant to be completely out of control. It was scary and exciting all in one moment, in one phrase, God opened my heart to being ok with whatever is next.

Sure, I'll always still have my moments, but I recognize the power of God opening me. Of me not being able to do the work. I've had these fleeting moments since I've been back where I want to jump into what was, and suddenly I am stopped dead in my tracks. God is calling me, God isn't just asking me to be opened, God is telling me in a strong and firm voice, "Ephphatha."
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You have such a way of explaining things, and I just read and say "Right on!" This is exactly what I've been going through. Thanks for putting it down so I can reflect.

By Blogger Sarah, at 10:58 AM  

This happened to be the lectionary for to sunday of my friend's babies babtism.

She was so thrilled, especially because of the "Ephphatha" liturgy involved in baptismal service in the catholic church.

I think we can probably all benefit from God saying to us "Ephpatha"

God Bless!

By Blogger CSDL, at 8:02 PM  

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