EXCERPT from Bette Jean Cundiff’s Blog: “Miracle Experiences and You!”
Taking a look at Jesus in the present moment while trying to see him as he was two thousand years ago, creates an immediate conflict. Let’s use this phrase as an example: “taking its own sweet time”. A city slicker like me might ask what does ‘sweet time’ have to do with the computer project I’m trying to complete in a timely manner? Yet, it wasn’t until I moved into a country home with an honest to goodness vegetable garden, that I heard myself saying, “those green tomatoes will just be ready in their own sweet time”, and the phrase actually meant what it said. I remember having one of those “Duh!” moments. A farmer coined that phrase a long time ago for his maturing fruits and vegetables. The phrase made sense in that context. Though often repeated today it is really just gobble gook for a townie.
Just think of modern slang, political scandals and complaints, ‘in’ jokes and the growing distance between well written English and a teen’s tweets. The mind boggles. Now, we begin to understand the gulf between understanding another culture, no less another time period. Understanding the 40s and 50s is hard enough-two thousand years is almost ridiculous. However, though surmounting this chasm is the first step in making sense of any ‘snapshot’ of the life and times of Jesus and will demand a whole bunch of research, I am officially retired. I have to admit the prospect sounds like fun.
And so I gather around me books, bibles, articles, DVD’s and set up an undemanding, yet consistent research schedule.
Woa! Hold on! Two thousand years of cultural clutter, looking like a Hollywood reproduction of end world devastation clogs my lens view. Like a journalist/photographer in a war zone, I will have to wade carefully through the rebuilt and reconstructed, the hidden propaganda landmines of times past. Think of the overlays of New Age idealism, Victorian proprieties, bloody reformations and inquisitions, the burning of literature and sciences in the dark ages, the political imperatives and religious prejudices and superstitions all the way back to the bickering, backbiting and down right violent disagreements within the Jesus movement right from the get go in the first century. Whew!
Breathless, but still undaunted I make the commitment to continue. I shall don my suit of personal “body armor”-an open mind, the willingness to learn, to be wrong, to be disappointed and yes, to even be amazed!
And I add one more piece of armor, perhaps the most important – my willingness to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit each step of the way.