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Homily for the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C) – Us versus Them

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

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Good morning bus riders!


I trust everyone had time to reflect on last week’s lesson of two paths and choosing the path that leads to divine marriage to Yahweh is the way to go.


I also trust that everyone is walking the right path, which means receiving the email with the link to the lectionary page, so the four readings for today having been dutifully read.


You can open up your smart phones to the lectionary site for reference; or, you can bring up your checklist of things you expect me to clarify, explain, confirm, or shine light on. Let me know if I leave you with questions, by sending me an email afterwards.


Because the bus stop is designed to take everyone away, there is no planned time for discussion. Still, discussion of Scripture is key to understanding it.


Reading Scripture can be done alone. It does not require someone to read it aloud to you. Reading will plant seeds of thought. It is the speaking about the meaning of Scripture that nurtures those seeds.


I know an Episcopal Church service allows no time for public debate, following a sermon. When we read not long ago about Jesus reading from Isaiah in Nazareth, handing the scroll back to the attendant and then sitting down, all eyes were on him because they expected him to give some insights about that read.


When Jesus said, “Oh! That was about me, so it if fulfilled,” the Jews [if they were Episcopalians] would have been expected to kneel or stand and recite in unison something preplanned. Episcopalians do not allow any time for running the priest down to the local cliff and giving him or her a shove.


The Jews plan for an open discussion. They love to offer their opinions; and, the Sabbath is when they get to do that publicly. Of course, if someone says what everyone wants said to be said, then it is happy times! Back-slapping for everyone!


If someone says something never heard before, then silence is not the response to give. Silence says apathy rules; and, religion needs emotions.


Always keep in mind how the soul of Jesus told John to write a letter to send to the churches, telling them lukewarm reactions to Scripture makes him want to puke.


It is important to realize you are expected to offer emotionally inspired feedback … by Yahweh. So, silence is emotionless.


With that said, let’s begin today’s lessons.


Last week’s central theme of two paths is mirrored somewhat today, in the sense that I see it as Us versus Them. This gives a name to the two paths, where Us becomes those souls who choose the path to Yahweh and Them becomes those souls who do not.


The difference now is aligned with the duality of two, where the path to Yahweh is one; but that one path offers separate 'lanes' of service to Yahweh. One is the right way and the other is the wrong way.


This becomes projected in the Old Testament reading selection from Genesis, where Joseph meets with his brothers, who Jacob has sent into Egypt to seek relief from a famine.


The brothers did not know Joseph was their brother at first, the one whom they had attempted to kill, made it look like he had been killed by wild animals in order to keep Jacob from searching for his favorite son, while having sold Joseph into slavery.


This reading is when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.


When we read, “Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” realize Joseph did not say, “Hey guys, remember me? Long time no see.”


His concern was for his father, Jacob.


Now, Jacob was a sinner who wrestled with his demon(s), which is like reaching the fork in the road and having dueling angels on his shoulders, saying, “Go this way!” and “No! Go that way!”


When Jacob decided to go the path to Yahweh, he was told he had earned the right to the name “Israel,” which means his soul became a Yahweh elohim.


That event in Jacob’s life – his Epiphany – took place after he had eleven sons and a daughter. After he became Yahweh's Israel, Benjamin was born and Rachel died in childbirth.


The point of that history is only Joseph and Benjamin – the sons of Rachel and Jacob – can be seen as having been absent of reports of a sinful past. The ten brothers of Joseph who stood before him in Egypt [brothers of other mothers] had all sinned … and when they heard the words, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” they became speechless from guilt.


That says having a saint as a father did not rub off on anyone.


We know little about Benjamin, but the land allotted his descendants included the most holy sites: Bethel, Gibeon, and Jebus [Jerusalem]. With no land allotted to Joseph [his two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh - were given land], the land allotted Benjamin can be seen as the heart [or soul] of the Promised Land.


Joseph seems to have had a natural inclination to serve Yahweh, as he began having prophetic dreams at a young age. Rather than get that ability from his bloodline, Joseph needs to be seen like David. He was born with a soul that had some history serving Yahweh, before he was born. In reincarnation he was 'put back to work,' like a Spiritual savant or prodigy.


Because all of the Israelites were the descendants of the sons of Jacob, we need to see that they all took the path to Yahweh, by following Moses and agreeing to the marriage terms brought down from the mountain – the Covenant.


Still, the history of the Israelite people in the wilderness (for forty years) shows they sure did bellyache and complain a lot. This makes them be a reflection of the parable Jesus told his disciples, before his final Passover, about the sheep and goats.


This is the Us versus Them, who are all on the road to Yahweh, differently.


Now, in this reading one finds the words “God” (written four times) and “lord” (written twice). That is misleading.


The word written four times is “elohim” (3 times) and “ha-elohim” (once). The words saying “lord” are forms of “adon,” which needs to be read as a singular “adon,” of the plural “adonay.”

The “elohim” and the “adonay” are similar, as they are statements of one being a servant of Yahweh, as one of His elohim, who are then put into positions as guides (or ministers) who lead others to take the path that serves Yahweh. A "lord" has influence over others; so an "adon" of Yahweh (an elohim) influences others to do good works.


Thus, when Joseph said, “God sent me before you,” that is actually written: “sent away elohim to face you.” That was what happened to Jacob when he wrestled with his demons.


When Joseph said, “but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt" (twice), that is actually written: “when elohim, he has made me a leader of Pharaoh and leader of all his house and governor over all the land of Egypt.” Unlike Jacob, as Israel, Joseph was made a servant of Yahweh who would influence others through divine means.


While the sons of Jacob were a collection of sheep and goats, Joseph being an “elohim to face you” becomes a statement of the First Commandment [which would not come until Moses was on the scene]. Still, the wording of the Law uses the same word “paneh," meaning “face,” which is translated as “before." When we read, “Thou shall have no other gods before me,” that actually means, “Thou shall not wear the face any other elohim before me.” A self-"face" is something that can never appear "before" Yahweh. A soul must wear His "face" [an Us] or be self-placed into the Them bucket.


Now, because Moses is still over four hundred years in the future, so Yahweh has not spoken to him at the burning bush, telling him His name is Yahweh, there is no mention of that name in the story of Jacob and his sons. Only elohim is written; and, that must be seen as angels of Yahweh doing His work on earth.


Because Jacob was an elohim, told by an angel (another elohim) that Jacob had wrestled with a demon elohim and won, Jacob would have told his children and wives about the God of Abraham and Isaac, using the 'generic' name "elohim." Still, the plural form is a statement that there are many angels watching over the servants of the One God - Yahweh, while also being many demons lying in wait for weak souls.


The point of this reading is then how Joseph did not see through ordinary human eyes or think with an ordinary human brain. Because Joseph had surrendered his soul to Yahweh, he wore the face of an elohim and had the power of Yahweh’s Spirit upon him, which became noticeable by others. That notice allowed Joseph to have influence over others.


Joseph then saw how all the past in his life that could have been seen as bad and could have led him to take the wrong path, towards resentment and grudges, was actually a blessing in disguise.


When Joseph told his brother to go get his father and all their livestock and bring them to Goshen, he was not speaking as their younger brother anymore. Joseph was speaking as Yahweh; and, his brothers could feel the power. So, they were led to do as he said.


Now, in David’s Psalm 37, we find repeated three times the recommendation that says, “Do not fret yourself.”


The Hebrew written more appropriately says, “Do not fret,” with the word “charah” meaning, “to burn or be kindled with anger.” Acceptable usage says this means, “be angry, burn, be displeased, earnestly, fret self, grieve, be wax hot, or be incensed.” Certainly, these are all internal emotions felt by oneself; and, a self has to be understood as a soul.


What David said means "Don not let your soul be filled with rage."


In the third time David wrote that, he added, “it leads only to evil,” with an alternative translation being inner rage “surely causes harm.”


In the whole of Psalm 37 … much like last Sunday’s Psalm 1 … there is the tale of the wicked and the righteous. The difference, when viewed through the lens of Us versus Them, is everything David wrote here is warning each soul to be careful not to let their emotions get the better of them.


He says, “do not be jealous of those who do wrong” … because jealousy is an emotion that wears a human face, not that of an elohim.


He says, “Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.” That sings loudly of what the brothers of Joseph did, who went on their merry way, carrying Joseph’s coat soaked in animal blood to show to Jacob, while Joseph would spend time in slave quarters in Egypt.


David sang, “Refrain from anger, leave rage alone,” adding, “For evildoers shall be cut off.”


The human thing to easily do is a kneejerk reaction to emotional stimulus.


David said “wait patiently for him,” meaning trust in Yahweh to lead one wisely.


Count to ten before doing anything rash.


Where David wrote, “those who wait upon Yahweh shall possess the land,” one needs to remember all bodies of flesh are made of ‘dust and clay,’ so “Yahweh shall possess the land” means one becomes an elohim, divinely possessed by Yahweh. From Him comes patience.


In the translation posted by the NRSV, verse 12 makes a similar comment, saying “the lowly shall possess the land.” Another translation of that is: “the meek shall inherit the earth.”


When seeing the element of divine possession in play here, as one’s “inheritance” of Salvation, once again it is Yahweh who “possesses the body” owned by a soul, which is “meekly” and “humbly” submitting itself to be controlled by Yahweh.


All of the Psalm 37 verses read can be seen to sing about a soul choosing the right path – to serve Yahweh – but still being tempted by Satan to go it alone, without Yahweh’s help.


This is the Us versus Them theme for today.


That theme is also found in the selection read from Paul’s letter to the true Christians of Corinth. It is seen in his writing, “Someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"


When he called such a person a fool, this says Paul is one of Us, while fools are Them.


When I said last Sunday that a soul standing at the fork in the road was led to salvation by choosing to go towards the path to Yahweh, I said one must believe in the promise of eternal salvation being offered. Once one receives the Spirit – in marriage of a soul to Yahweh – then one works with the help of Yahweh and Jesus resurrected. That which was one's initial belief is then converted into faith, from personal experience of the divine.


Before Jesus told the parable of the sheep and the goats, he told of the ten bridesmaids, who were each given a lamp to keep filled with oil. That is another example of the Us and Them, where all ten are going along the path that leads to marrying Yahweh; but not all did that which was required for when the bridegroom arrived.


Those who let the oil run out were fools. Their intentions were good, but they were unable to make the total commitment.


Paul was saying those who question what “resurrection of the dead” means, as if they need to see it personally before they can go beyond simple belief to true faith, are like the bridesmaids who had lamps without oil to light.


This reading follows readings from the same chapter, where Paull addressed the issue of “Christ died” and “Christ has been raised.” To understand where Paul has gone today, one has to realize it is still the “Christ” that is “raised in the dead.”


The analogy of the seed used by Paul is identical to what John quoted Jesus saying: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) Paul just went deeper explaining this concept [and, Paul never read John's Gospel, so he wasn't stealing an idea from someone else].


Here, it helps to realize Paul was writing as Jesus reborn; so, the same source is using the same metaphor.


What is easy to be misled by here is the same error that comes from reading “Christ died” and thinking “Jesus died.” That is not what is being stated.


Everything goes back to the imagery of someone standing at the fork in the road. One path leads to eternal life. That is the way through marriage to Yahweh. The other way is actually the same road that led to the fork. One comes from nowhere, going nowhere, unless one takes the road to Yahweh.


That road is the road of mortality. That means a soul has been born into a body that is bound to die, made of dead elements: dust, clay, ashes.


While the soul is eternal, the soul comes to the fork in the road that is either eternal life, freed from the prison that becomes a body bound to die, or continuing on to the death of the body, when reincarnation is the best a soul can look forward to.


This is what Paul meant when he wrote:


“What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is

raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is

raised a spiritual body.”


The body is born to die. The soul is eternal. The path to Yahweh brings the eternal soul eternal life, from having been “raised in glory.” The presence of Jesus, making one be “Anointed,” as a “Christ,” means one has the “power raised” within to deny the path of the “physical body,” when divine marriage brings on Yahweh’s “Spiritual body,” which is the body of Christ [not a physical Jesus].


Can you see that?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Good!.


This is where Paul mentions Adam. He wrote:


“The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”


A “life-giving spirit” is greater than a soul. It is the resurrection of the eternal soul of Adam within one’s soul. The “last Adam” is Jesus. Jesus is the reincarnation of Adam, as a seed, which had to die to release that soul, so it could be “life-giving spirit.”


Can you see that?


<Look for shocked faces and nodding heads.>


We have talked about Yahweh speaking through Jeremiah, where He said, “Ephraim is my firstborn.” The name “Ephraim” means “Doubly Fruitful.” I have pointed out how being “Doubly Fruitful” means being reborn as Jesus … a name that means “Yahweh Saves.”


Did you know that Ephraim was a son of Joseph? His second born son?


<Look for shaking heads and astonished faces.>


Joseph gave Ephraim that name because he was then “Doubly Fruitful” as a father. He then had two sons.


There was no land in Canaan that was given in the name of Joseph; but there were two areas allotted to his sons: Manasseh and Ephraim. Thus, Joseph was doubly fruitful as far as the Tribes of Israel go.


When Jeremiah spoke prophetically for Yahweh, Joseph and Ephraim were long dead; so, Yahweh was speaking the Hebrew behind the name.


Yahweh created Adam by hand (or direct command). Adam’s flesh was elements of the earth. That makes the Earth be the Mother of Adam, with Yahweh the Spiritual Father. Adam is the only Son of Yahweh. Adam is a body of earth with the soul of an angel … an elohim.


But, when one realizes that Adam becomes Doubly Fruitful by dying of flesh, so his elohim soul could be raised from the dead to become the seed named Jesus, then …


The second born Son … sown into the ‘earth’ of Mary … will make Yahweh have two Sons … a Doubly Fruitful Father.


Can you see that?


<Look for shocked faces and nodding heads.>


Great!


When that is seen, it is easier to understand what Paul meant when he wrote: “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”


We are all seeds sown into the earth. Our souls are imperishable. Our bodies are perishable … dead matter. However, our souls cannot simply ‘go to heaven’ when our bodies die, because a soul in a body of flesh is like a seed.


For the growth of a seed to occur, it must die, meaning the outer covering must return to the earth; BUT … if the soul has not been “raised from the dead” while in the earth, so it uses the earth to break through and develop according to Yahweh’s plan, then the soul is judged by Yahweh as a failed seed. So, the soul is returned to the earth again, as a sown seed … EXPECTED to die of outer self, so the inner soul can become a saint: Jesus reborn.


This is the fork in the road. It is set before every human being. All souls are expected to take the road that leads back to Yahweh.


Initially, that path was only walked by the Israelites; but that path split – good Israelites and bad Israelites; good sheep and bad goats.


When Jesus was sent as a seed that had to die on the earth to release his soul for growth – producing the fruit of the vine, the first fruits – the path was then called Judaism.


When the fruit of the vine became the Apostles, who ministered as Jesus reborn to all who sought salvation, the path expanded to be both Jews and Christians [called Gentiles].


This duality that exists along the one path to Yahweh is the theme of Us versus Them; and, that was what Jesus spoke of in the Luke reading for today.


It needs to be recalled that we are reading Luke’s version of what is commonly called (wrongly) Matthew’s ‘Sermon on the Mount.’ Jesus spoke routinely about that which was read aloud in synagogues on the Sabbath. Most likely he did this on the next day – Sunday. That would be Yahweh planning ahead for Christians to begin recognizing the Sabbath [which is always Saturday] on Sunday.


Each of the topics Jesus spoke of have a relevant Old Testament reading associated to them. Today’s sermon on the mount related to Leviticus 24:17-23, when Yahweh led Moses to lay down the law that says, “an eye for an eye.”


This realization means it is important to understand the Us versus Them existed for the Israelites, who followed Moses into the wilderness, remaining there with him for forty years.


The Covenant the Israelites agreed to was not written in stone by Yahweh for the whole world to comply with. It was only relative to those who took the fork in the road that led to marriage to Yahweh. It did not apply as a Law for the Egyptians left behind. It did not apply as a Law the Canaanites, Edomites, or any other “-ites” that existed ahead. No one but the Israelites were expected to follow the Law. Any travelers that wandered by the Israelites and stayed for a night or two … the Law of Moses did not apply to them.


This means the Law from Leviticus was something important only for the Israelite people – those who married their souls to Yahweh; and, by the time Jesus was sent to the Jews, few souls were actually married to Yahweh, so reading scrolls about the Law aloud was confounding to them.


By the time Jews would read about the Law and discuss it on the Sabbath, questions surely arose on Sunday; so, Jesus would address them then. The question today is one still voiced and belittled by those who laugh at religion in general, but Christianity and Judaism in particular.


They see the Old Testament God as one who always said, “Kill, Kill, Kill!” Then, Jesus says, “Love, Love, Love!” They see that as a paradox, as a conflict or contradiction.


Today, we read of Jesus saying, “Love your enemies” and “Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” both of which are memorized by all those who seek to blow up the path that leads to marriage to Yahweh, leaving only one road – the road to perdition and ruin.


The vital thing to remember in these sermons from the mount is Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.”


That means all the laws that say, “Kill, Kill, Kill!” have a true purpose of divine origin; and, everything about such laws is relative to ensuring the path to marriage to Yahweh stays pure.


When evil raises it ugly head, “Kill it!”


Evil has its own path to travel. It is not allowed on the true path to salvation. It reflects on the Them that need to be cast out.


This is how the word “enemies” needs to be seen.


The Greek word translated as “enemies” actually better says “haters;” and Jesus addressed that by saying, “do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”


Hate brings forth curses and abuses.


What is difficult to see, because the translators of Greek Biblical text into English do not realize there are divine rules – Godly syntax – to follow, miss the fact that “Love” is a capitalized word.


A capitalized word in the New Testament means that word’s meaning needs to be seen in a divinely elevated light. Thus, “Love” means the “Love” of Yahweh, which comes upon one when one’s soul is married to Yahweh … out of “Love.”


In this reading selection, the words translating as “Love” are written four time, with only the first capitalized. This says the Us and Them is relative to a divinely elevated state of “Love” versus the human emotion called “love.”


Human love is the same in all people, such that even sinners know what “love” is.


That is how the Beatles could readily sing that all you need is love, when in their wayward minds were thoughts that saw human love as being alongside sex, drugs, and rock and roll.


The element of “enemies” must then be seen for the truth that Jesus spoke, where he had set up a ‘church by the sea,’ only for Jews, because he had found those who hated him, who cursed his name, and who sought to abuse him, did so by keeping him away from their synagogues.


Just as Moses had passed on the Law of Yahweh to the Israelites, not the whole world, Jesus was referring to “haters” within the collective that was Judaism.


Jesus was showing "Love" to those Jewish "haters" by letting them have their place to pretend they knew what Moses meant, while Jesus would go off into a secluded place, where it was only him and his followers. Because that place had great acoustics, others could gather – voluntarily – and hear the "Love" Jesus taught.


We read his words today in the same light, from the collective of Christianity, which is thought to be the only path to heaven.


To speak things that go against the collective mind … and I am shown insights that points out the errors in Church reason, so I know my share of ‘Christian’ haters … that which makes me follow the "Love" of discernment and speak my mind privately draws uncontrollable emotions. I see how it is easier to follow the Law that allows one to pick up stones to bash in the skulls of people who do not toe the line, rather than listen and ponder people who are led to see differently than the masses.


If you intently ponder what Jesus says, the key to the Us verses Them problem that Christianity has, it is doing the opposite of what Jesus said Yahweh meant through Moses teaching “an eye for an eye.” When Jesus explained the solution to taking eyes and killing as equal justice for sins done was to “Love your enemies,” that needs to be grasped.


To do that – "Love your enemies" by exacting Yahweh's Law on Lawbreakers – avoids the acts that cause harm and the acts that justify harmful acts. It keeps the path to Yahweh pure. "Love" knows a soul released from its body of flesh has not been harmed at all. It will be sent back to start all over again. To not "Kill the enemies" means to reject Yahweh.


Today’s Christians approach this solution as is if human love of an enemy means allowing sins, through the pretense of forgiveness.


They teach that falsely, when Jesus said to address sins one-on-one. That does not accept and forgive. If that first approach does not have a positive effect, then bring two or three others filled with "Love" to rid the sinner of evil thoughts. If none of that works, then the whole congregation is called; and, if all fails, then "Kill the sinner" with excommunication.


That says "an eye for an eye" has not had one iota of that Law abolished; but Jesus was explaining using the Law as reason to exact justice demands one first be married to Yahweh and be filled with the knowledge of His "Love."


The only way true “Love” comes about is marriage of a soul to Yahweh, and there is no human equivalent to understanding that “Love.” It is a state of being that is impossible to put into words that are clearly understood.


As far as “enemies” and “haters” are concerned, that is a given that cannot be changed by any form of confrontation, agitation, force, or rewriting of laws, making it so criminals will not be punished.


Enemies are enemies because of mindset. That means minds have been taught to hate those of different ideas and opinions. Just as Muslims are taught to hate Jews (and thereby Christians), there are no acts of human love that will ever change the mindsets that all have a different view of how one gets to heaven.


What Jesus meant by “Love your haters” is this: Let them hate you, while you stay out of their face, out of they minds, and out of their midst.


That allows their hate to abate, while it allows one’s “Love” of Yahweh to grow.


I know the bus is due in at any time now, so I will wrap this up quickly, saying a few words about the NRSV translation that says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged.”


That is a weak translation, at best. Still, even as shown, it can be seen how that becomes a double-edged sword of judgment.


One edge says, “Do not judge and you will not be judged,” where all eyes are on who is “not judged” and who will not judge in return. It cuts the way of humans judging humans. However, the other way to read the same words says, “You will be judged badly for not judging.” That also can be seen as human judgment; but everything must be seen as Jesus speaking of Yahweh’s Judgment.


The actual translation of that written says, “Kai not judge , kai not lest you shall be judged.”


In that there are two uses of “kai,” which is a signal of importance to follow. The first “Kai” is capitalized, which states a divinely elevated state of importance needs to be seen in that which follows. That divine elevation makes everything be Yahweh’s Judgment.


When a soul is married to Yahweh and knows divinely elevated “Love,” which is beyond human love can ever fathom, to “not judge” means to reject what Yahweh leads one to do. One’s “Love” means one will always judge as Yahweh directs one to judge. The Law is a contract of marriage that one has agreed to use in judgment – yours, as a servant wife of Yahweh.


Only Yahweh can judge anyone when “Love” abounds.


To then reject how Yahweh says an eye for an eye is just judgment means Yahweh will not allow that soul to escape Judgement for having gone against Yahweh’s Law.


This relates to the NRSV showing Jesus saying, "Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you." The words translated as "forgive" and "will be forgiven" do not say that. Only Yahweh has the power to forgive. What those words do say is "divorce" and "you will be released."


As for "give, and it will be given to you," the only thing any human being has that is of value to Yahweh is a soul. That says "give" your soul to Yahweh in marriage and "your soul will be given eternal life in heaven."


All of this becomes synonymous with what Jesus said in the parable of the sheep and goats, who are reflections of Us and Them, where neither the sheep nor the goats had a clue about how their actions in life would be judged by Yahweh. However, the sheep did everything Yahweh said to do – they obeyed His Law – so, they were granted eternal salvation; but the goats broke many laws and were cast into the outer darkness with the gnashing of teeth.


I see the bus down at the corner. I will just say I have posted commentaries about all of these readings today, which go deeper than the time allowed here permits. Read those this coming week.


I look forward to seeing everyone again next Sunday. Until then, try to experience true “Love” and being “raised from the dead.”


Amen

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