Winning Words 3/29/13
“Ex Malo Bonum: Out of Bad comes Good.” (Michael Burns) I once preached a sermon: “What’s Good About Good Friday?” The answer is in…the rest of the story. Judgments of good or bad are often based on limited information. A man was recently released from prison, because new evidence showed that he was not guilty. Some of life’s puzzling situations might take time, but good can come out of bad. ;-) Jack
FROM RI IN BOSTON: We've seen that the words are true...good can come out of bad. But we have to be patient...it often takes some time to show itself (as in the case of the man in prison).////JACK: Time and patience sometimes have difficulty in connecting with each other.
FROM WALMART REV: ...it sure did that momentous week in Jerusalem, 2000 years ago...filled with so many "highs and lows" for Christ Himself...so blessed today as we face our own hills and valleys along life's "pilgrim way" with the established Word of God..."He is risen, Jack! He is risen, in deed!"////JACK: I just watched a video of a Jewish man describing what it was like to be freed from Buchenwald concentration camp by American soldiers at the end of WW 2. A "kind of" Good Friday/Easter experience.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I used to be more radical when I was younger, agitating for more just political systems and so forth, a bra-burning feminist and so forth, but over-the-years have seen so many one-on-one overturns of exploitation and abuse, so many times when things have been righted and people have experienced freedom, that I'm absolutely positive God is working among us in the world and I don't have to be as loud and strident as before. When people see good coming out of bad, not just one or two people benefit and grow stronger but the whole community does. Thanks for these WW during Holy Week. ////JACK: Each generation looks at the world through their own spectacles. Each age has the need to see the continuing bad/good evolution.
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: In short, there is but One who reaps where He has not sown. Evil can never do this. Life now overcomes Death, a Passover by virtue of the blood of the Pascal Lamb, and our ultimate example. Happy Easter. ////JACK: I like the hymn stanza, written by Frederick Faber, "If our love (faith) were but more simple, we should take him at his word: and our lives would be all sunshine in the sweetness of our Lord." Theology can be complex, if we want it to be. Most people want the shorter version.////RAY: I think it is true that most people prefer the "shorter versions". We have become a "drive-thru" culture: more impatient and more lazy -- especially with regard to the depths of our understanding. We prefer a quick coffee, a quick fix, and even a quick word. The Internet is never fast enough, and we get angered when we have to wait for anything.
But, don't you think that understanding comes from seeking, and that the process of seeking requires one to enter into the complexities that lay beneath simple knowledge and that this process also provides for us the opportunities for understanding? Ecclesiastes and Proverbs are certainly complex in their simplicities. Until understood, through the process of seeking and knocking, they remain complex -- and hence, often avoided. Even Jesus' direct messages in the Gospels are complex until they are understood. There is a depth to Wisdom that requires our direct and personal involvement, if it is to be understood, don't you think? We are required to "seek" if we are to find, to "knock" if the door is to be opened. In other words, we don't find if our eyes are closed or misdirected. No doors are opened that we don't engage and encounter. No path is worn that our feet don't touch. We cannot sit around in a preferred state of laziness (with regard to understanding) and gain understanding, can we? If this were not so, I suppose we could claim an ability to reap fruit without sowing in the field. As far as I know, Wisdom cannot be had for a song. Even so, the process of seeking requires the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit; for I cannot know or understand what is not made known to me. As the Word is Spirit, and the Spirit is Life, it is not mine to "take" until it is given to me to take. Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom come as gifts of the Spirit as well. Otherwise, we would all be wise by virtue of the wise. And there are many throughout history who have shared their wisdom; yet many more remain ignorant of the wisdom since then, and remain poor in spirit, and heed none of the wisdom availed them.
But, we have been promised by Jesus the Christ that that which we seek we shall find and upon what doors we shall knock they too shall be opened. In this sense, the "short version" leaves people who prefer it poorer than they need be and not richer than they could be. And, as the promise of all the riches of Heaven as our inheritance is True, it seems counter to that promise for anyone to accept such poverty.
I like the Winning Words because it provides me the stone to sharpen my Faith in the Word of the Beloved Son of God, the Risen Christ, and Sacrificial Lamb, whose blood markings keep Death from my soul, and whose conquering of Death through His resurrection provides us a place with Him in eternity, of Life everlasting! To me, this is worthy of my continual pursuit. It is worthy of a sojourn that seeks a depth of understanding, knocks at the door of Wisdom, and prays for a companionship of the Holy Spirt throughout the entire endeavor.
I am remain thankful to God for all the gifts with which He floods upon me. And, it seems a tiring exercise to keep replanting them -- but what other option is available if there is understanding?
Thank you for your participation in this process. Your "seeds" cast have taken root as well. God bless you too. Happy Easter/Passover!
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: If I recall, I think you did that sermon at Cross of Glory. I may be wrong though. It is a Good Friday, in fact, a Great Friday. Without it, we would not have Resurrection Sunday! Good eventually overcomes evil.////JACK: I appreciated being the interim pastor at C of G. I met many fine people, and I'm still in touch with several of them by e-mail
FROM MY FLORIST: I often share the same with the expression "when one door closes another one opens" or "every coin has two sides" it's a yin yang thing. It's our job to find the good in every situation. Sometimes it's harder to find but I firmly believe that I have learned more from my failures.////JACK: Now, you can use a new saying: Ex Malo Bonum.
FROM INDY GENIE: I always sing a dancing song on Good Friday .. "I
danced on a Friday when the world turned black, it's hard to dance with a
devil on your back...etc" out of bad came dancing:)////JACK: I have a hard time visualizing Jesus dancing. I wonder if they had dancing at the wedding in Cana...and if he might have danced there?
FROM BLAZING OAKS: EX MALO BONUM IS A GOOD PHRASE TO MEMORIZE! I RECALL READING THAT "GOOD" FRIDAY WAS INITIALLY CALLED 'BLACK FRIDAY"...WHICH IT CERTAINLY WAS FOR THE DISCIPLES AND FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST THAT DAY!! THANKS TO TONY CAMPOLO WE ALL KNOW THE PHRASE, "IT'S FRIDAY.....BUT SUNDAY'S COMING!" :-) I HAVE A CHART SHOWING ALL THE "JESUS SIGHTINGS" AFTER THE RESURRECTION, INCLUDING ONE MENTION IN 1ST CORINTHIANS OF A CROWD OF 500+! (15:6), SO THERE WERE MANY 'EYE-WITNESSES" TO HIS RESURRECTION! A COMFORT TO THOSE OF US WITH VERY DEAR ONES WHO HAVE PASSED TO THE OTHER SIDE. HAVE A HAPPY AND BLESSED EASTER!////JACK: Nowadays "Black Friday" is reserved for the Friday after Thanksgiving, when all of the merchants hope to wind up in the "black," instead of the "red."
BTW, eyewitnesses are OK, but I like what the resurrected Jesus said to Thomas: "“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”