A Survey of the Life of Jesus, Session 2 (Obscure Beginnings in Bethlehem & Nazareth)

With this post, I commend installment 2 of my/our Summer “Survey of the Life of Jesus” to you:

  • a video (below) — conveying an audio of the session (underneath powerpoint images employed through the course of the evening),

–and–

Admittedly, there are a host of varied emotions which surround this work.  Yes, there’s excitement at reengaging a meaningful chapter in my life–and material therefrom.

And, yes, there’s gratitude for Jim Fleming and all he’s given me!

However, there’s also some distress and pressure.  I struggle with the volume of material  and how to present it and how to make each session more manageable (for all involved).  (I’ll agree this session 2 is/was way too full!  Too much to take in…. and no time for questions!  I apologize.  I’ll work on this in the weeks ahead.  Admittedly, it’s always been a challenge for me in my teaching.)

The basis of this time crunch is multiple.  Beyond being the way I am wired, it’s the nature of and the result of working with Fleming.   (And, here, there’s a strong desire within me to “do Jim right” [“to make him proud”] — conveying his material as confidently and accurately and fully as possible.)

Admittedly, though, there’s a “shadow” or “ego” side to all this — where I want, deep down, the same kind of adulation and respect that Jim has garnered through his life.  And, I confuse that with doing things the way he did (and does) things.  It’s among the “false selves” with which I wrestle.

And, here, I arrive at one of the original intentions and hopes and purposes of this blog: namely, to seek and be about an “authentic ‘dance’ with self, God, neighbors and creation!”  You see, in a spirt of transparency and confession (which some [especially those just encountering my bloggings and more personal sharings] may find uncomfortable), I admit: it’s hard for me to accept myself for just who I am.  (Ironically, this was the basis of and at the core of a spiritual growth study I led here at A&M at the beginning of this year.  A study focused on our “Coming Home to the Heart of the Gospel”–i.e., our coming home to our “true selves” in Christ.)   Coming out of last night’s session, I found myself saying, just one more time: “Lighten up, Reiter!  You don’t have to be anything or anyone else [whether it’s Fleming or some other idol you have attached yourself to]…  Be who you uniquely are in Christ!”

I am proud, then, to continue to offer this material (with an ongoing acknowledgement of debt to Jim Fleming)–material which has so blessed my life and ministry through the years.  I am not surprised, though, that, even as I revisit [and share from] this precious chapter in my life, I am very much engaged in work that is at the heart of my current chapter of life and living: being more and more true to and accepting of the “original, shimmering self” [cf, Buechner] that I uniquely am!  (Lord, have mercy!)

Enough, already, Jim!

To the video…

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