Thursday, October 1, 2020


  This is the third in our 

        Fall Series


         Living Out

The Sermon On The Mount


Dear All of Us,

Good Morning,

Good Afternoon,

Good Evening,

Good Middle of the Night.

Whatever the time in your 


 May it be God Good.          


In my Washington, DC 


    it's a God Good 

   Monday morning,

   Fall cool and crisp.

Whatever the weather,

Monday morning here means 

get the blog rolling. 

It's a pleasant routine 

become a happy tradition.

Now that opens a segue

to the specialness of


We all have them:

  - a week at the beach 

    every summer

  - First Communions at seven

  - your favorite cake 

    on birthdays

  - always buying a Honda

  - Thanksgiving dinner 

    at your mother-in-law's

The specialness, even sacredness, 

of tradition was so soulfully sung 

by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

He tells of the villagers trying 

to continue their bonding traditions

in the midst of a world 

changing around them. 

Tradition and change.

We all deal with it.

So did Jesus.

   We're at the part of 

The Sermon On The Mount

when Jesus locates himself, 

and us his followers, in the 


   of the Jewish People,

The Law and the Prophets,


   his shifting it and us

     into high gear.

   Significant change.

   Matthew 5:17-20


  Jesus, always the Jew, 


The Law and the Prophets


    Played it Forward.

      In the process 

  he let everyone know

     the need to get it 


    way more than the

 religious establishment 

            of his

        (and our??)


The Jews were rooted in

The Law and the Prophets

       It was their 




Jew through and through, 

 in no way was about 

       to pull up  

  those sacred roots.

     He was, though, 

     very definitely

about tending, extending, 

their development and growth,

       taking them to 

 new heights of fruition.

         His is a


    He affirmed both

  generational continuity 

  and its development.


    It's like producing 

     priceless wine

     from old vines.

 Those vines are both

    deeply rooted

 and vigorously alive 

 with the new growth 

       of grapes.

   A healthy vine 

can neither renounce 

its roots nor refuse 

fresh growth and fruit.

  Neither did Jesus.



 Jesus didn't terminate.

    He transcended. 

He furthered and fulfilled. 

He reinterpreted and enlarged.

  "You have heard it said, 

    but I say unto you..."

  He widened the horizon 

 He moved the focus from 

    the letter and form 

          of the law 

         to its spirit 


    our inner intentions 

      and motivations.

    External religiosity 


   correct conformity

          to law

  is not near enough

     nor complete.

   Attitude and action

    flowing from love

     is the way of

    The Kingdom 

 Come and Coming,

   with its fresh 

   and fuller life 

here and here after.

  Jesus is saying in

other ways and words:

      "God is Love"

       I John4:8


      "You shall love 

      the Lord your God

      with all your heart, 

      and with all your soul, 

      and with all your mind.

      This is the greatest 

      and first commandment.

      And a second is like it:

     'You shall love your neighbor 

      as yourself.

      On these two commandments 

      hang all the law and prophets."

          Matthew 22: 37-40

 Jesus built on a good base,

     erecting a renewing

     spiritual habitation.


      All of this was/is 

    a mammoth spiritual 

        Sea Change.

   Jesus shook things up 

   and His Spirit still does.


 In our life's journey 

 we all go through such,

 through continual change, 


So do societies and cultures.

So does spirituality.

So does religion.

In all of these we are 

right now in the midst 

of a huge shake up.

Just look out the window.

   What a help 

 to follow Jesus.

    He shook 

the Jewish tradition 

    to new life.

He opened things up, 

    built forward 

  from a solid base.

 He didn't demolish.

    He developed 

    and expanded.

That means going from 

a set order of things 

to a period of disorder 

and then moving into a

refreshed and expanded 


 It's no cake walk, 

 but it does get you 

where you need to go.

      Please consider 

   taking time and soul 

with the three week series 


  Order Disorder Reorder

        Richard Rohr 

     Daily Meditations

     Center for Action 

     and Contemplation

     August 9 - 29, 2020

It applies to our spiritual lives

and just about every other sphere 

of individual and shared life.

It talks rootedness, 

development, growth.

It talks the pain of disorder 

between order and reorder in life,

spiritually and every other "".

In our spiritual living 

we are lucky enough 

to never stand still.

If we try, we die.

Spiritual living 

never comes 

to a dead stop.

It is rather a 

dynamic progression.

We never "get there".

We're always "getting there".

The present builds on the past

and moves to the future.

It's similar to what Jesus did 

with the Jewish Tradition.

He never said it wasn't good.

He did say it wasn't good enough.

It was a mile marker 

and we are blessed 

with a wide open road 

as we travel to Fullness.

What we got as as religion

when we were children was one thing.

There is a lot more to it and to come.

It was a tricycle that got us started.

Our transport had to change 

if we were to get on our way in life.

So, there was the exciting freight 

of learning to ride a two wheeler.

That got us along farther and faster.

Then again the exciting freight 

of learning to drive a car. 

And so it goes in our 

spiritual living/progression.

We move from an ordered way

to the disorder of letting go of it

(or having it taken from us),

to a new, a reordered moment -

and that for only a while.

As a kid some learned to make

The Stations of the Cross.

Comes the day when 

one doesn't so much do the

fourteen "stations" in church.

One lives them out in relationship, 

at work, at home, soul deep - 

wherever one is "stationed"

in the dynamic progression to



    "The only thing that 

     doesn't change 

     is change itself."  



    "When I was a child, 

     I spoke as a child, 

     I thought like a child,

     I reasoned as a child; when

     I became an adult,

     I put an end to childish ways.

         I Corinthians 13: 11

Our spiritual living is in tandem 

with what Jesus did in furthering 

        The Jewish Tradition.

         We are party to 

order, disorder and reorder

again and always in this dynamic



We do well to see and sense 

what and how Jesus did that 

and does that a plenty in our 

          Right Now.

Jesus reordered.

He enlarged the Jewish tradition.

He deepened and elevated it.

He gives a host of examples 

and guidance in the rest of 

The Sermon On The Mount.

   Matthew 5:21 - 7:29

These are the rich new growth.

They are right at home,

everyday, out on the street,

busts of divine new life

on the vine of our living 

spiritual tradition.

Tended are things like: 

  - anger and degrading others 

  - sexual purity and realness

  - divorce

  - truthfulness

  - overcoming evil with good

  - love of enemies

  - a way to give alms that counts

  - praying that actually is

  - forgiving - a "giving for"

  - fasting forward

  - heart treasure

  - inner light

  - wealth that can't wither

  - keeping the holy whole

  - our ask and God's largess 

  - The Golden Rule

  - the narrow road to Real

  - heads up - know by fruits

  - talk less  -  act more


            God's Will

  - hearers and doers 

  - build on Rock Reality.

     Beautiful, Dynamic 

      Living Tradition.


You know what?

The Summer Series


 This Fall Series

 Might just become 

 Our Winter Series!!

 There's so much here.

 It's so doggone good!

Jesus is a change agent.

He builds on the best,

opens it in an expanse 

of growth to fullness. 

    He invites us

     to change, 

   to come along 

   with him in this


     So good for us 

to share together here in

this wonderous expanse. 

   Every Godness,

      John Frank


            PRAY AND PONDER

               The Message

    provides a refreshing translation 

            of the scriptures 

        in contemporary speak.

"Don't suppose for a minute 

that I have come to demolish 

the Scriptures - either 

God's Law or the Prophets.

I'm not here to demolish 

but to complete.

I am going to put it all together,

pull it all together

in a vast panorama.

God's Law is more real and lasting 

than the stars in the sky 

and the ground at your feet.

Long after stars burn out 

and earth wears out,

God's Law will be 

alive and working.

Trivialize even the smallest item 

in God's Law and you will only 

have trivialized yourself.

But take it seriously, 

show the way for others,

and you will find honor in the kingdom.

Unless you do far better 

than the Pharisees

in the matters of right living,

you won't know the first thing 

about entering the kingdom."

   Matthew 5:17-20

In view of this scripture,

and the three quoted above 

in the body of the blog:

- What do I hear in my heart?

- What direction/redirection 

  do these words invite?

- What do these scriptures

  say to my soul about 

  the passion and commitment 

  of my spiritual living?

- What do these scriptures mean

  in terms of things I need 

  to stop and things I need to start?

- What do these scriptures reveal 

  about our culture and society?

- What are the "best practices"

  I can live in our culture and society?

- Where am I at the moment:

  are things in order, 

  being disordered, 

  growing into a refreshed reorder?

           Matthew 5: 17- 20


      A Happy Hearty Welcome 

      to all joining us for the first time.

     Over the past almost four years 

     we have had folks join us 

     on and off from eighty nine countries.

            Last week we had 

        our first ever visits from 


       A special Welcome to you!


       "How good and pleasant 

        it is when brethren 

        dwell together in unity"

               Psalm 133


 Thanks to all who have shared

      "frankly speaking"

   with family and friends.

- it is posted online 

  each Thursday mid-day,

  east coast USA time

- there is automatic email delivery 

  on Fridays - the sign up 

  is top right above

- all past postings are available at 

           Blog Archive

        right column here.

Say, how about we all go fiddle 

on the roof with Tevye this week?

Old Timers like me would do well, 

though, to fiddle from the front porch!!