Ain’t Talkin’ (Just Reflectin’)


Ain’t Talkin’

 

One of my Christmas  presents was the new Bob Dylan cd, “Modern Times”. This is the last track on the cd. Take a read (or a listen) if you will, and see what it is that he “Ain’t Talkin’ ” about. Here is my interpretation.

                           Ain’t Talkin’

                  Bob Dylan
As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden,
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine,                                           
I was passin' by yon cool crystal fountain,
Someone hit me from behind. 
Ain't talkin',just walkin 
Through this weary world of woe.  
Heart burnin',still yearnin' 
No one on earth would ever know. 
They say prayer has the power to heal, 
so pray for me, mother.
In the human heart, an evil spirit will dwell. 
I am a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others,
But oh mother things ain't goin' well.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
There'll be no mercy for you once you've lost. 
Now I'm all worn down by weeping, 
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry.
If I catch my opponents ever sleeping, 
I'll just slaughter'em where they lie.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Through the world mysterious and vague. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' through the cities of the plague. 
Well, the whole world is filled with speculation, 
The whole wide world which people say is round. 
They will tear your mind away from contemplation, 
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down. 
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Eatin' hog-eyed grease in a hog-eyed town. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Some day you'll be glad to have me around. 
They will crush you with wealth and power. 
Every waking moment you could crack. 
I'll make the most of one last extra hour, 
I'll avenge my father's death when I step back.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Hand me down my walkin' cane. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Got to get you out of my miserable brain. 
All my loyal and my much-loved companions 
They approve of me and share my code. 
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned 
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
My mule is sick, my horse is blind. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Thinkin' 'bout that gal I left behind. 
Well, it's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flyin', 
Fame and honor never seem to fade. 
The fire gone out but the light is never dyin'. 
Who says I can't get heavenly aid'
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Carryin' a dead man's seal. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel. 
The suffering is unending; 
Every nook and cranny has its tears. 
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending, 
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Walkin' ever since the other night.
 Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' till I'm clean out of sight. 
As I walked out in the mystic garden 
On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn.
Excuse me, ma'am, I beg your pardon: 
There's no one here, the gardener is gone.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Up the road, around the bend. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
In the last outback at the world's end. 
 
   Copyright © 2006 Special Rider Music

Fourth Week of Advent


But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.   Micah 5:1     (NAB)  

This week, we celebrate the coming of Jesus! Being that Monday is Christmas, this is the shortest fourth week of Advent we can have, so we don’t have to wait long.

As we turn our thoughts to that little town of Bethlehem,’ too little to be among the clans of Judah’, to the birth of our Redeemer, our Lord and our King, being born in a stable,” because there was no room for them in the inn”(Lk. 2:7). Let us ask ourselves two questions. First: do we see God in the small and seemingly unimportant things of life (children, the elderly and the poor) ? And secondly: do we have room for Jesus in our homes? It’s a bit easy to say,”Yeah, I have Jesus in my heart”, and just leave Him there. Bring Him out into your home, invite Him to work with you. Take Him shopping with you or to the golf course. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives, not just Sundays or Wednesdays, or Christmas or Easter. Every day!

This Christmas, let us learn a lesson from the manger; it was humble enough to feed the beasts of the field and was transformed into the first throne for our King.

Maranatha!

Merry Christmas to all!

Amen.

The Truth Will Set You Free


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him,” If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered Him,” We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say,’ You will become free’ ?” Jesus answered them,” Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.”   John 8:31-36  

We have established that truth in it’s fullness will give structure, direction, purpose and information. But in order for these to work together to establish the fullness of truth, it must be based on reality. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, one of the definitions of truth is, reality; actuality. This is what is so awesome- about God, the Bible and His Church.

God, in reality (His truth) created everything. Then through His revelation to mankind, worked through history (the Bible). And through the Church, still works through history, so that ” none may perish, but all come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)

A partial truth then, only partially frees. Jesus did nothing partially! Jesus Christ, fully Divine; 100% God. Jesus Christ, fully Man; 100% human. Nothing partial about that.

Jesus came to free us, not only from the eternal punishment for sin in the next life, but from the power of sin in this life! (Rom. 6:14)

 This is the freedom of which Christ speaks. Total freedom found in total obedience. Jesus warns us to remain in His word, that proves us to truly be His disciple. In doing this, the truth revealed to us, sets us free.

Free from the power of sin, and free to the power of God.

Amen.

Third Week of Advent


Shout for joy, O Zion! sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  Zep. 3:14  

This third week of Advent, we celebrate with joy!

Joy, for what the Lord has done in our lives this past year. The healing, the comforting, the restoring. The leading, the revealing, the provisions. The second chances, the third and fourth ones, too.

And joy, for what is to come. We may not know what will happen, where it will happen, when it will happen, or why it will happen, but we can know The One who does!

He will sustain us and comfort us in our sorrows and reward those who diligently seek Him. So this week, let us remember joy…” for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Ne. 8:10

Amen.

The Old Law in The New Covenant


What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness?  Rom. 6:15-16 

St.Paul, here states the function of the law (of the Old Covenant) with grace (of the New Covenant). He starts out by asking the ridiculous question,”Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not!” Without the guidelines of the law, how would we know God’s qualifications of righteousness? God didn’t design salvation for His people to be obscure, but founded upon obedience. That is what Paul goes on to say,”if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves you are slaves of the one you obey. So that is the question. Who are we going to obey?

“According to Christian tradition, the Law is holy, spiritual, and good,(Rom. 7:12,14,16) yet still imperfect. Like a tutor(Gal 3:24) it shows what must be done, but does not of itself give the strength, the grace of the Spirit, to fulfill it. Because of sin, which it cannot remove, it remains a law of bondage. According to St.Paul, its special function is to denounce and disclose sin, which constitutes a “law of concupiscence” in the human heart.(Rom.7) However, the Law remains the first stage on the way to the kingdom. It prepares and disposes the chosen people and each Christian for conversion and faith in the Savior God. It provides a teaching which endures for ever, like the Word of God.” CCC 1963

One last thought; Paul in Ephesians 6:2, quotes one of the Ten Commandments as if it was to still be adhered to. One of those things I’ve read a thousand times, and I just came to realize.

The law is still to be followed, for it is the Word of God.

Amen.

Second Week of Advent


Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever.      Baruch 5:1   (NAB)

This Advent season, we have a decision to make as suggested by the above verse. We are given a command, a choice and a promise.

To take off your robe of mourning and misery, we must want to do it. We must want to replace the bad with the good. Replace the despair with hope. Replace the “me” areas of my life, with God’s presence and direction.

So, this week, let us put on the splendor of glory from God forever, making Him the center of all we do. For this is the command I obey, the choice I make and, the promise that He keeps.

Amen.

The Truth and The Law


Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year.   Heb. 10:1  

A recent discussion on how the Old Testament Law relates with the New Covenant, prompted me to present the teaching here, as part of the “What is Truth?” series.

When we look at statements about the Law, we must be careful to understand their context and their purpose.

 As God established the Mosaic Covenant (the Law) He instituted a sacrificial system. Different sins (breaking the Law) carried with them different sacrifices. The people would bring their sacrifices to the priest at the Temple, where it was offered to the Lord. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) the High Priest, would go into the Holy of Holies with a sacrifice for the whole nation.

In this interpretation, what we see is that,  Jesus is the “once for all sin offering”. In other words, today when I stumble and break the Law of God, I have a “perfect sacrifice” in Jesus Christ, to cleanse me of my sin. This is done in faith, through the blood of The Lamb, not by the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 10:4).

Do not think I have come to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.   Matt. 5:17  

What could Jesus mean by this? Exactly what He says! He is God the Father’s Law keeper. Being fully Divine, He could keep the Law. Being fully human, He suffered the temptations that you and I do, only He overcame all the temptations, we rarely do! So, not only is He the “perfect sacrifice”, He is the perfect “High Priest”!

The Law is still in effect. Jesus taught that all His life. That is what the “sermon on the mount” is, an explanation of the law and how to live it out (Matt.7:24-27). Particularly, in our day to day lives. What we try to do as human beings is, make God in our image instead of letting Him conform us to the image of His Son.

God’s standard has not changed and, will never change. I must cooperate with His grace, by faith and live a life worthy of the call of Christ.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in the law was He answered: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second on is like it: You must love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commands.”   Matt. 22:37-40 

Now, let us go and do likewise!

Amen.