Positions at The Hermitage

Posted By on Mar 30, 2016

At this time we have no openings.  This can change from month to month, so please mark your calendar to check back here regularly! In the meantime, we offer you blessings and peace in your...

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turning on a dime (palm sunday)

Posted By on Mar 20, 2016

(cyprian) There’s a phrase that we used to use when I was a kid referring to sports cars. We’d say that it “could go from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds and turn on a dime.” “Turn on a dime” meant that it had a short wheel radius, so it could make a quick 180 degree about face, no problem. As I got older that phrase struck me as an apt negative description of some people, that they could act one way toward you and then an hour later treat you completely differently. They’d turn on a dime. Some relationships I found were that way too: you’d be going along just fine and then suddenly one thing would happen and the whole thing would get upended. I’ve seen that happen to marriages. On a larger scale, I think it’s especially true in our cult of celebrity. I like to say, “We eat our heroes.” We admire someone and laud and magnify them, and then we sort of relish it when they do something scandalous, and we turn on them and tear them to pieces. It’s also an apt metaphor for the three-ring circus that is masquerading as our political scene these days. It’s also a pretty good metaphor for what happened to Jesus within the course of a week, all of which we’ll remember in the days ahead. On Sunday it’s “All glory laud and honor” and by Friday it’s “Crucify him! Crucify him!” There are a few lessons we could draw from this. If we’re cynical it could lead us to believe that the world is not a safe place, and yet that seems to contradict everything that Jesus taught––that the universe is benevolent. ‘Look at the birds of the air! Learn from the flowers in the field!––the Father is glad to give us the kingdom.’ No, I think we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who, in the words of the prophet Isaiah which we heard today set his face like flint, knowing that he would not be put to shame. Let them beat my back! Let them pluck my beard, let them buffet and spit on my face. (Is 50:4-9) The better lesson to be drawn from this is the prevenient knowledge of the resurrection, you might say––in other words, we already know the ending of the story––, that we can walk through the darkness, as if through the walls of water piled up on our left and our right in the Red Sea. Like Jesus, even when unwarranted violence of thought, word or deed comes at us, we can hold our head up...

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new heavens and a new earth

Posted By on Mar 7, 2016

We hear these scintillating words in this prophecy of Isaiah today, the Monday after Laetare Sunday (Is 65:17-31), from right near the end of the whole book of Isaiah: I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. It is no accident that the prophet uses the Hebrew word bara’ here for ‘create.’ This is the same word that is used in the first line of the book of Genesis: In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth… The same power that was operative in the original creation is again at work in a new creation.[1] But it’s important to note that one of the characteristics of Old Testament prophecy is that when it points to a New Age, it is not something other-worldly. It sees this world transformed or, maybe better to say, it sees this world restored to its original purpose, the purpose that God intended in creating it. Behold I create a new heavens and a new earth. And remember Peter uses this same line, proclaiming that in Christ too we wait for a new heavens and a new earth (2 Pt 3:13); and the Book of Revelation ends with the same vision: I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Rev 21:21). Could it be that they all mean this physical world in which human beings will be free from hardships, a place where righteousness is at home (2 Pt). Isaiah is wildly optimistic about it: the span of human life will be a hundred years and if someone fails to reach old age it will be a sign of divine displeasure. It is not about the restoration of the Davidic monarchy or about the earthly city, the geographical Jerusalem, or even about Israel itself, but the new Jerusalem, as Revelations says, coming down from heaven adorned like a bride. And when that righteousness comes about, when human beings are loyal to the divine will, then Nature itself will respond; it will be a new or a renewed creation. There are so many echoes of this in the New Testament; besides the ones I mentioned there is certainly also Romans 8: the world itself will be freed from its slavery to corruption when we have experienced the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:21).[2] And then we have this scene in the Gospel of John (4:43-54), where Jesus is doing just that, redeeming someone’s body, restoring this boy to his original purpose. But note that this scene is wrapped up in all kinds of other images that have been...

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