My Stronghold

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens

 

I am on the road going home. Now it is getting complicated. The world is experiencing a pandemic. My home state of Washington is a hotspot for the virus. Hopefully they will not quarantine the whole state but I imagine that could happen. Right now I am in Arizona because New Mexico has closed its state parks.

We were told in the morning that all campers had to be out by 5pm. That was at City of Rocks, a geological phenomenon, volcanic in nature, of monolithic stones in an outcropping out in the southeast of New Mexico. It is remote, out of the way but met the criteria of 100+ people gathering. We ate breakfast, packed up, hit the highway to Arizona.

My favorite camping in Arizona is Chochise Stronghold. It is where Chochise held up to keep the Dragoon’s and the US Calvary at bay. The terrain protected the people. If I can’t go home, I want to be at Chochise Stronghold. He is buried here somewhere in the Dragoon Mountains. Nobody knows or will tell the exact location, but the history draws me to this place even though there are only pit toilets.

I can’t get my mind off of the history of small pox. My grandmother lived through a small pox epidemic when she was a child but her mother and sisters died. I hope my genetics will get me through this pandemic of Coronavirus. Right now I have my health, my supplies. I could probably stay out here for a month. There is a stream running where I could boil water. Wash my body, my hair.

We are going day by day, watching the news feed on the internet. Nobody really knows what is going on. They say China has it under control. Italy not so much. People are dying in their homes. If you watch a documentary on the Spanish Flu of 1918, it is very sobering, so being proactive is understandable. It all seems to be the worst of times.

 

a season of change

happening the world over

now we wait it out

My Stronghold

Jesus & the People

Jesus no longer walked among the people

Hé & His disciples went to Ephraim

a city near the wilderness

it was 6 days before the Passover

& people were wondering

would Jesus come to Jerusalem

His following was building

He had raised Lazarus

from the dead

& the priests & Pharisees

wanted to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus

_______________________

I’m in the middle of a 40 day series on Jesus going from Caesarea Philippi to His ascension.

Jesus & the People

Meanwhile in Jerusalem

Two miles away in Jerusalem

the priests & Pharisees

heard about Lazarus

& wanted council

for surely this man

does many signs

& the people

were believing he is the one

& Rome will take away our authority

& our nation

Caiphais the high priest said—

it is better that one man die

than a whole nation & so it was

prophecy that Jesus would die

& they plotted to kill him

Meanwhile in Jerusalem

Lazarus in the Tomb

Lazarus was dead & lying in a tomb

friend of Jesus

brother of Martha & Mary

who had sent word to Jesus

Come quickly my brother is sick

Days later Martha met Jesus on the road

as He was approaching Bethany

If only you had come sooner

my brother would be alive!

Mary came to Jesus & fell at His feet

If You had been here

my brother would be alive!

& she wept & Jesus wept

& the people wept

as they went to the tomb

Lazarus in the Tomb

Returning to Jerusalem

Jesus had been to the Temple—

as a baby

He was presented to God

as a twelve year

who stayed there questioning

the rabbis for three days

while His parents searched for Him

as a young man growing up

who would go with his family

for three major festivals each year

as a young rabbi

who challenged religious leaders

for three years of His ministry

Nearing Jerusalem this time

He knew it would be different

& had explained on three occasions

to His disciplines how He would

be betrayed and killed and rise again

His disciples still did not understand

Returning to Jerusalem

Parable of the Minas

Jesus told this parable to His disciples on the way to Jerusalem because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. A parable would take a subject that was well known to the listener & compare or demonstrate that which was unknown. A mina was a unit of weight & currency, equal to 60 shekels, & 1/4 of an agricultural workers annual earnings.

Jesus said—

A nobleman went away to a far land to receive a kingdom for himself & to return. He called his servants to him, giving each ten minas & said, Do business till I come.

After receiving his kingdom, he called his servants to see what they had gained by trading. The first servant had earned ten minas. The master gave him authority over ten cities in his kingdom because he had been faithful with a little amount. The second had five minas & was given authority over five cities. The third presented him with the original mina which he had put away because he was fearful & knowing the master as an austere man, collecting what was not deposited and reaping what he did not sow.

You knew this about me and did not even put the mina in the bank to draw interest. You wicked servant! Out of your own mouth I will judge you.

So the mina was taken from him & given to the servant with ten. The master said, for I say to you, that everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Parable of the Minas