What better place to ask the question— Who do you say that I am?— than the well-traveled intersection for politics, religion, and trade, Caesarea Philippi.
Armies are tramping through all the time and it’s the trade route between Damascus and Tyre and there are shrines to the old pagan gods. All these concerns come together here at this familiar crossroads.
So, when Jesus pops the question, his followers might be tempted to think he represents an earthly endeavor: material wealth, military power, or prominence in the religious establishment.
For Simon Peter, son of Jonah, flesh and blood did not reveal the answer, but our Father in heaven.
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A August 27, 2023
It’s hard to be humble—for those of the majority race who are always favored first when it comes to power. Oh, sure, there is empathy: imagine the horror! But no one is thinking seriously of trading places. Like Joseph, west Africans once had independence. Mercenary brothers sold them into slavery and they bore brutal bondage from birth to grave on our soil. No one is wiser than their descendants. It is difficult for whites to accept that the last are first and the first last. Some believe the Haves and the Have Mores on earth are bound for glory where we are saved by following private paths, but black churches proclaim the true story of inclusion as taught to us by Jesus Christ.
I run the trail before the rising sun. Cyclists will not be riding up my back in the bleak early hours when all is black. Body and soul are one on the run at dawn. A careful stride keeps me free of pain for an hour or more. I focus on my hushed exhale on every fourth step as I master the trail. Impurities slip away from body and brain. With snowy cedars in the light of day, my mind departs from mindful concentration to free association. Tri-colors whirl, unfurl, flutter in the wind as swaying timbers mingle with the heavens, all powder-blue, white, and forest green for me: delight is color, sun-rinsed clean.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you have set in their courses, what is man that you should be mindful of him?
Digging deep into a pocket of nothingness, the Webb Space Telescope uncovers new stars and new pockets of nothingness. We assume something is there. Nothingness is a placeholder word for things undiscovered.
What about, we ask, the end of time? Logically, a beginning, middle, and end affects all things, including time we are told—my personal time and Time itself. What happens when we reach the end? Is nothingness just another placeholder? Dare we assume there is something more?
First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday June 4, 2023