Saturday, January 14, 2012

George Macdonald and a new kid on the block

It's saturday morning. This week, as I've written in my journal, has been full of stuff that has made my brain hurt. So many thoughts and musings have been doing the macarana inside my head. It's been exhilarating and a bit frustrating at the same time.
One of the exhilarating moments came as I read a small piece by 19th century Scottish author and minister George Macdonald. He is one who C. S. Lewis stated had a great influence on his own conversion and literary direction. In the piece Macdonald commented on Mark 8;1-21. The encounter described was after Jesus had fed 4,000 and had a run-in with some Pharisees. On a boat ride, Jesus made a comment about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. The disciples, ever on top of things, assumed that Jesus was upset because they had not brought bread on the trip. Jesus responded with a rather heated reminder of the feeding of the multitudes, not once, but twice. He finished with, "Do you still not understand?"
While many folks look at this and think that Jesus was upset because they didn't realize that if he could multiply food for thousands, he was capable of taking care of the needs of 13 people. But, Macdonald took a slightly different angle on this. He wrote that the miracles of the feeding revealed God's own compassion. The stories were not to reveal Jesus' power, nor to confirm his role as a great prophet. It wasn't even to confirm Jesus as the Son of God. It was to show that "God cared for His children, and could, did, and would provide for their necessities." The miracles were an experiential lesson that the disciples needed to study and learn from.
One thing that I noted was that, if Macdonald's take is viable, and I think it is, then what should the response of Christ's followers be today? If Jesus chose to feed people to reveal God's care and provision that is driven by God's own character and compassion, should we not, in God's name, do likewise? Feed the poor and hungry; clothe the naked; support the widows and orphans; comfort the sick and down & out...yeah, I think so.
Also, today I'd like to encourage anyone who may stop by here to check out a new blog at
Morven Baker is a counselor in Ashland, Oh. She is also married to one of my professors from ATS. I checked it out, and she is not blogging because she is the wife of an Old Testament scholar. She is doing this to help give voice to, well, let's hear her words:
"I am a counselor who works with women.  For a long while now I have wanted to have a safe place to post well researched articles or educational links, as well as my own personal thoughts, that I felt might be helpful for my clients, the brave women who have survived abuse as children and/or adults, the real heroines of the stories.   Perhaps this place might be helpful for my friends, family and colleagues who really care about what I do and are my constant cheerleaders.  I also wanted a  place where readers, if there ever are any, can share their responses and know that their thoughts and feelings are respected and valued."
 Welcome, Morven!

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