Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The measure you give

I’m waiting to give out treats in order to avoid the tricks, but it is quiet and likely that no one will come!
by Charlie Leck

Sojourners sent along this bit of scripture for me to read and think about. I thought it was worth repeating for you. Do you think it is relevant to the world today – or to our nation – to our present day politics? I don’t know the answer to that question – any part of it. It’s just that the verses made me curious.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” [Luke 6:37-38]

Do you suppose?

Is this a promise from God? Or is it just the way the odds work? Perhaps its human psychology and behavior! Economic theory, perhaps!

Do we get disappointed by our observations and think that this doesn’t really happen in cases we witness – or it certainly doesn’t seem to happen. What do we know?

Does it even make sense to try to keep track of the score someone else is running up? Perhaps it is meant that we worry only about ourselves – that we, in essence, take care that we live by this concept.

My critics might say that I am pretty judgmental in these blogs – and condemnatory also!

I suppose I am. I am open to judgment and condemnation. I accept that.

I think it is interesting, that a couple of verses further on in this passage of scripture, Jesus is also quoted as saying.

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will clearly see to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” [Luke 6:41-42]

There are some parts of scripture that I enjoy – some parts that challenge me and speak to me. I like those parts of scripture that most scholars agree are likely from the mouth of Jesus himself, and not additions and expansions by the early Church in an attempt to justify its own existence. These parts of scripture, like those recounted above, come from that library of material that seems original to Jesus. Does that make a difference to you? To me?

I don’t know! It just seems he was an interesting guy – complex, challenging, loving et al. It sure would be interesting to sit down with him and chat about the world we live in today. I imagine he could be helpful. I wonder if he’d write a blog!


It’s Halloween evening as I write these words. Darkness is about to descend on us. A basket of candy is on the chest in the front foyer. We haven’t had a trick or treat visitor in years and years. Our driveway is very long and very dark and well off the highway. The photo to the left shows only the beginning of the driveway, before it enters the woods and starts to meander around and go up and down the hills. The few kids who live around here are grown and of college age now. Tomorrow we will look at the basket of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Trix Bars and wonder what to do with them. We both try to avoid sugar. Perhaps one of our farm workers will take them home.

P.S. I'm hoping that those Christians who are so quick to anger will forgive me for the liberties I took with the famous Warner Sallman portrait of Jesus. I always find it far too serious and holy. I imagine he looked more like Bob Dylan.


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