Info on 2011 Holy Land Pilgrimage

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March 18, 2009


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This is one of my all time favorite stories.


It's one of my favourite stories as well, in part because it defies so much of what we think God is up to, and how God has to act.


Yes. It intrigues me as it requires you to turn your head. When I think of the absurdity of looking over to a snake to be healed, I can think of a lot of friends and acquaintances who would see it as a condescending solution and refuse. Yet, what could be easier? Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than to look over there...

So too Christ on the cross.


Whenever I came across this reading in the lectionary – it greatly confused me for all kinds of reasons. Particularly since Moses had just given the 1.5 commandment, “Thou shalt not make for thyself any graven image.”

But now, whenever I hear this story, my mind immediately wanders to the Garden where the serpent made his debut. Since then, the serpent continues to poison us with half truths, and I all too easy listen. “Oww! Bite my rubber arm,” I say to the serpent. I certainly don’t believe in anything like karma, but like the whiny Israelites, I shouldn’t be too shocked when the reality of my sin returns to bite me on the @$$.

We are healed of our sin, when we are confronted with it-forced to look upon it, when we acknowledge and recognize it. With eyes of faith, a glance becomes an act of contrition.

The serpent woven around the pole reminds me of my pride - which got me into this mess in the first place. The body of Jesus woven around the cross reminds me not only of the consequence of my pride, but the humility of love unknown, unfathomable, which gets me out of it.

God is God, and he could have saved the world any way He chose, but in the manner in which our salvation was procured, it doesn’t surprise me too much- since the folly, the paradox of the cross – should be that the vaccine would be produced, through divine providence, from the venom.


Troy - I think that's a great image - the vaccine is produced from the venom.

Coffee sometime?

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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