Thursday, 8 November 2018

texting luke nineteen

In for a penny, in for a pound. Alternate mornings on Luke slowly. 07729056452

Lk19v1-2 Noticing for the first time that Luke puts Zacchaeus, who is v3 "trying to see who Jesus was" directly after the restoration of the sight of the blind man. Physical blindness and lack of height: there are different ways we might extend these by analogy to forms of a lack of sight in the spiritual. To be short is a relative term, Z was short because he was shorter than average, shorter than everyone else. It is understandable that, unchecked, this could develop into a sense of victimhood or competitiveness with others. There are ways that we are all born with advantages and disadvantages to our spiritual sight, which seem so unfair, and are apt to put us on our guard that the resources of sight that we do have must be protected from others, who are a threat to it. Jesus shows us in both cases that this attitude to seeing him is unnecessary. It is unnecessary because it is not inevitable that you are destined to be who you have always been - Jesus offers new vistas, new optics. Healing is possible, both physical and relational. It is also not necessarily to compete with others for sight because Jesus has the time and resource to see you (before you see him). He stops for you, crying mercy in the street, clambering up the tree. He sees you first, you specifically.

Lk19v3-4 πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ”­πŸ”¬ "seeking to see.." Active looking-for, Ps63v1 earnestly, holistically, desperately, Lk11v9 ask-seek-knock seeking. What is the measure of sufficient seeking? What is sustainable? How does one comport oneself towards the examined life with a level of intensity that is actually effective? Zac "..ran ahead and climbed.. to see.." What is that for me? What is ahead? What is my sycamore?

Lk19v5-6 Hurry. We don't know how to hurry well, I certainly don't. We are caught in all kinds of hurrying around, in life and work and church and culture and people and chatter, but we know that we are, and we constantly reflect on it. It is a staple of any kind of reflection or sermon on the pace of life that we all need to chill out a bit and Sabbath better and not define ourselves by work etc etc. 'Ruthlessly eliminate hurry', an oft-quoted and indeed clearly manifestly wise Dallas Willard nugget. But I wonder that this anti-hurrying mantra (which is a mantra because for all the talk is we're still terrible at it) fails to attend to what Jesus tells us to hurry for, and how to hurry and why. We are to be peaced-out Marys rather than bustling Marthas, yes, but when we're at the top of the tree of alienation, desperation and longing, the word of Jesus to us might be 'hurry down!', which is to say 'hurry here!' 'I am staying with you, I am visiting your home - today! Get a move on!' Simply staying in an all-hurry-is-bad-hurry-and-I-must-hurry-less mindset is a negative, focusing on  what must be eliminated without an eye to what must replace it, and it runs the risk of failing to recognise the great urgency of our need for help and salvation. Wisdom hurries over things worth hurrying for, and doesn't hurry over things not worth hurrying for. Hurry to be close to Him. Hurry to embrace the good, hurry to put yourself in the right position *so that* you can receive all the refreshment and rest that your soul needs. Good-hurry more and better so that you can bad-hurry less.

Lk19v7-8 πŸ“– How do you read the Bible? How do you really really read the Bible? I bore myself with a hackneyed mode of interpretation and application. We all like _x_ have gone as _x_ and so should instead do proportionally x in the light of the Jesus encounter. Perhaps the trope's ennui raises it's head most vigorously in well-worn passages that have been flogged into a stale veggietale broth of overfamiliarity.
≠ Thus, the default reading: while we're not corrupt tax collectors per se, we are corrupt tax collectors in the grand scheme of the moral universe. And, we're not the grumbling crowd per se, but we are a grumbling crowd in the grand scheme of the moral universe.
πŸ‘₯ Is this always a relevant reading? Am I like every single character in the Bible? Is there always an application from every passage? What principle would prevent specific sins' salience from becoming a generic grey of misc rebellion? How do you read yourself into situations in the bible proportionally? And my how? there is not a rhetorical how? as if to exclaim that it-can't-possibly-be-done because it-can't-perfectly-be-done, but rather a plain practical how? question to crowdsource from textees a different and more effective mode of interrogating the situations of scripture and applying them. 
How do you read and apply sin from the Bible?
⚖ Scale? How big is your sin? One "sin" fits all sin, it's all definitionally infinite, there are no shades of grey, it is all a binary missing the mark, all a total falling short of the only sufficient perfect glory, it all needs Jesus's perfect sacrifice the same amount? Self-reflection and humility should come from considering the limitless holiness of God and the limitless and varied ways I fall short. Living out from that humble basis should mean I live a better calibrated life before an audience of one. But. Is that enough? Is that practical? Are there not different sins, with different consequences and differently appropriate proportional practical responses? Can we talk of major and minor problems - even within my own catalogue of predisposed pathologies? Some require surgery. Some disqualify you from ministry, some disqualify you from company direction. Some can be repaid. Some can only be forgiven.
πŸ™‹‍♂ Subject? I bet you think the Bible is about you? Because surely the wrong way to read the Bible is the Thank-God-I'm-Not-Like-One-Of-Those modes of applying it to others. But. When is the Bible legitimately not about you? The gospel writers have a category "tax collectors and sinners". It is not nothing. It has thinghood. Categories may be self-fulfilling, socially-constructed, socially-relative but they are also autopoetic, self-reinforcing, electively engrouped and collectively responsible for the actions of a type, such as culpably self-identifying as tax collectors within a corrupt professional framework. So, am I a tax collector? No. But. While I may allegorically be a prostitute, and be subject to metaphorical slavery, and murder people proverbially, and conduct an embezzlement via neglect of responsibility in less measurable transactions than tax.. Repentance and healing for those actual predicaments is bespoke and distinct from the language game of moral similes.
✅ Solution? Is there a solution? Can we, should we, extrapolate spiritual practices from Zaccheus' response? If we extrapolate, it shouldn't be dogmatically literal. If we extrapolate, we should contextualise. If we extrapolate from Zaccheus' actions, it mustn't setup any tacit salvation-by-works formula. So, should we extrapolate anything? Can we extrapolate anything at all, except a lowest-common-denominator suggestion to be generous? If more than that, then how?
I am struck for the first time that Zaccheus pays in two distinct ways:
πŸ’΅/πŸ’Έ % of what he has "half my goods" This references in no way the scale of his sin. He gives in-itself, for-itself as a cut of his total legit/illegit net-worth. An expression of remorse but also an expression of faith. What would your life look like if you took scissors through the middle of all your assets, in a gratuitous divorce settlement, downsizing to half a house, riding in half a car.. It no mere tithe, it is slashing the capital in which you find your security. Half your squirreled nest egg, half your pension, bonds and investments, half your cash in the attic.
πŸ“Š % of what others haven't "restore it fourfold" [struck by the order, which may not be intended as significant, by after splitting his assets, he then pays reparations out of what he has left] He makes available his entire remaining estate for unlimited claims made to it. Relative and consequential compensation at 4x. This is repentance? This is freedom? This is faith? Admitting fault and writing a blank cheque to building back better.
Should we extrapolate from this?
Should we allegorise?

Lk19v9-10 Initially I find Jesus' wording here hard to understand. Why focus on the fact that Zac is a son of Abraham? It feels like he is focusing on Z's Jewishness as a condition of his salvation, which could be read as narrow and exclusive. Sitting with it a bit it comes to clarity a bit more that of course Jesus is always expanding people's understanding of who can be saved (Who? v10 the lost. Who is lost? Every freaking one of us) but rather than developing a totally different language and understanding of salvation from scratch, he incorporates this universalism into the particularity of Judaism. Paul as we know states this more systematically in Rm4v10-12. The sons and daughters of Abraham become an expanded category rather than a category to be done away with. This project, of expanding and re-integrating our understanding of existing religious language, rather than scrapping it and starting again, is important for our time, especially in the Evangelical church, which in many parts has tried to strip out religious language in pursuit of being 'relevant', but has empoverished itself in the process. Jesus wasn't afraid to use ideas and language from old-time religion, and neither should we, so long as we are prepared to (i) re-imagine these ideas, allow the Spirit to breathe new life and new understanding into them, revealing something thicker richer deeper about the Trinitarian God. Jesus constantly uses Torah to point to the one who surpasses Torah, we must be the same with our use of religious language. (ii) We must clearly explain our use of this language and invite people into it. Religious language can be a barrier or a gateway for people, but again, anxious Evangelicals have often fixated on making it not-a-barrier rather than on making it a gateway. People are hungry for the language of the sacred, surely this is part of why Jesus continued to speak in Abrahamic terms - these terms bear more meaning than a language created from scratch could. Let us feed people with scripture, liturgy, doctrine etc that is full of the resonance of centuries of saints, communicating clearly to people that this ancient sacred that they long for is very close to them, invites them in, and will cut to their hearts with an ever-newness. In Rachel Held Evans' words, we should 'keep the church weird'  Keep it religious, keep it weird, like Jesus did. The church, like Jesus himself, is a strange particularly, with room for absolutely everyone.

Lk19v11-12 "because he was near Jerusalem.." What is it about this proximity that necessitates this parable?
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ Jerusalem is a city All cities, as London, are magnetic centripetes accentuating all dimensions, foibles, glories and pathologies of the human condition. All cities are always concentrating a catalytic powder keg of antagonistic heterogenous powerplay and its compensations. All cities are temporal instantiations of an eternal tension between Zion and Babylon. All cities are lightning rods for spiritual forces.
πŸ•πŸ¦ Jerusalem is more than that - it is the city of cities. By cosmic accident, Jerusalem is _the_ actual mythic archetypal city, providentially perfectly quintessentially the epicentre and apex of religious and political power. Those powers in that Jerusalem are exquisitely corrupt and compromised. The Judaism on display reaching peerless and paradigmatic and literal Pharisaism. The occupying Pax Romana likewise being the very textbook of systematic oppression.
⚖ Here, the majority is ruled by a minority. An external occupying force is exploiting a domestic geography. All of life and justice is out of kilter, off balance, egregiously inhumane, necessarily unsustainable.
πŸ”œ Jesus must go to Jerusalem. Everything thus far has led to exactly this point. Like a marble down a track, like a tidal wave approaching shore. What is Jesus? And, what is Jerusalem? What about Jesus pulls him as an iron filing to Jerusalem's horseshoe magnet? And in this, when are you Jesus on your way to a Jerusalem?
πŸ™ A city should be treated as an agent a collective agent, as a personal-spiritual thung thing, more than the sum of its multipersonal parts. A city is a mob ruled by albeit fickle consent. A city is a spiritually choreographed murmuration of diverse nodes, united approximately by self-interest, rallied to that moment's expedient totem, a version of a leader. In this way, a city has a will, an appetite, an effect.
- See Mt2v3 all of Jerusalem was troubled when Herod was troubled..
- See Mt23v27 Jerusalem is culpable of murder and thus a subject of Jesus' vain compassion
πŸ™πŸ“œ All cities beg reform. All reformers beg a city.
🀴⚒ The city is the powertooling extension of a singular will - it is a King's Kingdom. Jesus is the seed point of an alternative city, an incorrigible muster point, a snowballing coalescence of a counter culture. A new order springs from his very being and no town can abide dual allegiance. Thusly the two entities are locked into a collision course.
πŸŒ†πŸ™ƒ Jesus is the perfect embodiment of the counter-city. In all, he has displayed a will to reform, the power to reform, and has promised reform: "The Kingdom of God is at hand.." In his yet frail human frame, he is conspicuously possessed of a  plausible super-human ability to counter the city's supra-human effect.
πŸ“– So, "As they heard these things.. he proceeded to tell them a parable.." What is it about "these things" ~ Zacchaeus's salvation juxtaposed with city proximity that necessitates this parable? This parable is to establish the interpretative key for the *city-engagement* to follow, in the light of the Zaccheus-engagement which has just happened.
πŸ’£ Lest an over eager mob interpret the Zacchaeus event as a reform of a taxation system, Jesus tells them a parable, on the eve of entering the city. Thus I read this hinge point as promoting an interpretation of the Zacchaeus event as a call to personal responsibility which is will also be the salvation of the city - the salvation of a household of households.
πŸ“ˆ Zacchaeus is one of the servants who had been stewarding the minas, and he is able to be reformed, and he needs to be reformed. The city is full of Zacchaeuses that cannot and must not be overthrown merely systemically by abstract revolution, but rather, individually, by each facing the minas they have, and considering how they steward them.
⏳⌛ In this way, the Kingdom of God is, thankfully, not appearing immediately. The city is an incendiary place of anxious impatience. We steward humbly and justly, with a sense of urgent purpose, but not devolving to violent revolution. Jesus comes to our Jerusalem, to nurture economic reform, where each soul transitions to operating on the basis of his abundance, and so a city is saved.

Lk19v13-14 But the citizens hated him. Stop there. Note that. This passage is so well known and yet this throwaway comment at the beginning, which I never have in mind as the point of this passage, contains fundamental facts at the heart of it. What is going on behind all the tangles about how much to risk or not risk? Hatred of God. Resistance to his rule. I vote we all spend less time trying to strain to work out exactly what counts as the perfect formula for stewardship in any situation, and spend more time identifying, repenting of, and replacing the Heb12v15 bitter roots that more fundamentally cause us to hate and resent God and to resist His authority.

Lk19v15-16 Make more. More of what? More of what you have been given. How do you measure that?
πŸ‘›πŸ”’πŸ“œ I like the way the parables of the talents/pounds/minas inadvertently obscure a too-quick financial reading of the story because of their antique medium of exchange. But I end up reading it financially anyways. Or, perhaps more troublingly, it is read as an edict or enticement to a notches-on-bedpost form of evangelistic metricisation.
🎁 What have you been given? How do you measure making more? And when measured, what sort of more is good-enough stewardship?
πŸ“‰ MichΓ¨le Lamont's public LSE lecture this week (Having to Being: Self Worth and the Crisis of American Society - mp3 on podcast RSS feed is not appearing in their player where it should) touched on this idea of making more - it is key to the American Dream, and that dream is fading. She cites Raj Chetty's study of declining social mobility: 90% of those born in 1940 compared to 50% of those born in 1984 would earn more than their parents. The American Dream may have been a problematically narrow neoliberal private economic ambition, which has become a socially divisive engine where increasingly infertile and fraudulently meritocratic winners take all, while a stigmatised 99% become existentially excluded but. It was a narrative of hope. Against current pessimism, she suggests applying ourselves to a wider plurality of criteria for evaluation. So that an enfranchised working class, a patronised artisan fringe, an energised care sector might *make more.* There is such dignity is making more. How do you measure this except financially?
πŸ’Ή Crypto offers a way, making fungible what is unpriceable and making measureable that which intangible.. See Galia Benartzi's Bancor prototype "heart" currency tokenising the exchange of favours like childcare and volunteering. Elsewhere, Effective Altruists believe that traceable tokens enables a sort of pseudo-liquidity where Social Capital can be spent in exchange for Social Impact.. I remain blockchain agnostic, but the notion of considering the intangible relational or personal capital and talent we have as tokens to multiply 10x by trading, finds a great deal to analogise in the work going on in Crypto.
Kenneth Bailey's chapter on this passage is also interesting. Adding peril into the assessment of the transaction. More on that story, later.
πŸ“ˆ Make more. More of what? More of what you have been given. How do you measure that?

Lk19v17-18 [w Mt17v20, Ps84v3]
very small.
even the sparrow
nests trees
seeds cities
& mustards minas
planting small faith
(good and faithful)
in His large faithfulness

Lk19v19-20 πŸ“¦ "kept laid away.." So JC would say to the blockchain. Don't hodl, buidl. There is so much value in this world locked away, rainy-day reservoirs kept in reserve, untapped genius, mere perpetual potential, depreciating assets rusting in self-storage units. Hoarding is stealing from the commons. Negligence is not nothing. You are responsible to sweat your assets, you are a link in the chain a vital part of the team.
🧀 "handkerchief" ΟƒΞΏΟ…δαρίΟ‰ͅ or sudarium ~ a sweat band - such handkerchiefs were for mopping the sweat from the brow of earnest toil - never needed because such was never exerted. Rather it is employed hilariously as an accessory to the servant's cowardice, his brittly precious, bubble wrapped, white-glove serviced faith, neatly tidied in a delicate doily. Rather, your faith is to be well-thumbed, dog-eared, battle-scarred, stone-washed, and heavily distressed. God has gifted you an industrial strength opportunity to ruggedly tonkably go forth and risk.
πŸ• Because, ours is a faith of the great outdoors.
Lk9v5-6 Agile evangelists believe in pragmatic providence, nimbly knowing that all timing is God's timing, they weather rejection lighty, relishing to suffer with Christ, they fail early, fail often, fail forward.. Bootstrapped and unsentimental, they move fast and break things. But who is called to that? .. If I was to assess the deficit in my life and in the church at large it would call me to be more barrelling forth, at the expense of less noodling at home. "Dust" Dust's dustiness is a musty stasis, the detritus of life, the flakes of decay, the aroma of death, which clings to disuse, which settles on and settles for and settles down. No church should be dusty, and not by neurotic vacuuming, but by being-unsettled. *The Christian is a kite in a hurricane, ours is a faith of the great outdoors* thieves cannot break in and steal, moths will find nothing there ~ we are romping through town, anti-static, and squeaky clean.
Rm14v5-6 Christianity is total freedom. Christianity knows no ritual, brooks no compunction, and shreds the obsequious fuss of Jewish calendar nerds. *Christianity is iconoclaustic, restless for justice, a muscular faith of the great outdoors,* it is tireless to cross borders, languages and cultures to set ablaze a pragmatic reformation of authenticity. The Gospel renders the everyday sacred, it is an explosive and ecstatic imperative to unstinting prayer and rejoicing 1Th5v16, hard work 1Co15v10 and emphatic irreligion. Over and against the suffocating sentimentality of sickly Sunday-Christians garbed in their Sunday bests, Christianity is man alive, we are bound only by the law of love. For the Christian, every day is Easter Sunday, every day an adventure, every day a new creation.

Lk19v21-22 Hard. Severe. I am fairly certain one should not over-read this analogy of the master on to God, for God is also the Father who 15v11-32 runs to meet us when we have wasted everything, and brings us back into the centre of the household. But I have been thinking about the hardness of God, the severity of God, within this framewprk of God's love. God is a Father. Fathers should perhaps bring a certain hardness, a certain severity - this is easily misunderstood or abused, but equally it is often forgone, with consequences. Fathers are supposed to be substantial, to provide solidity, to make clear where the sharp edges of reality are. This can feel like severity to the unaccustomed. I want to submit myself to the hard edges of God, the substantiality and solidity of God, which can be hard to receive, which can feel like severity, like God trying to pull more out of me than is fair, reaping what is not sown. I want to be submitted to this, I pray for the wisdom, grace and insight to receive this as love.

Lk19v23-24"why then did you not.." You have to make an account to God for the things that you didn't do. Damned if you do, damned if you don't? Or at least chastened if you don't? Your-home-maybe-repossessed-if-you.. ~ Yes, there is much to fear if you presuppose scarcity. Yes, the risks of investment are prohibitive in a closed universe, negatively marked by a disgruntled teacher. But is that the universe? Why did _you_ not ______?
πŸ’° "my money.." Kenneth Bailey's chapter on this parable changes a number of face-value readings, the nobleman going away to receive a Kingdom should have called to mind Herod in the attention of his listeners - he had made such a trip to Rome. A divisive figure, whose Kingdom was not a foregone conclusion. Investing his money on his behalf in his absence would have been an activity not without risk of partisan opposition. Investing God's money, flying that flag, seeking to multiply that capital ~ it's not nothing. So, placing a lamp under a basket and other fire-hazards - it's a hodler's tale, cautious, anxious but self-fulfillingly self-defeating. Why do we do it?
πŸ“ˆ "with interest.." Not clear if this is hyperbole or a license to charge interest. There is a subtle spectrum of ways to charge interest, from the positive and proportional redistribution of abundance amongst cooperative stakeholders, to the enslaving dehumanising transfer of wealth from the poorest borrowers into the pockets of the richest lenders. It is possible to conduct loans for the common good - see the last GodPod episode
πŸ―πŸŒ‰ SB, this week, has become the first company in the world to have a license to offer loans on tokenised titled assets - that is, without intermediaries, you are able to lock the title deed for your car in a digital wallet and borrow cryptocurrency against it. It is like remortgaging your house, but you can turn it on and off at any time, on your own terms. The result is acccess to liquidity at all times on the basis of assets you already own but can't otherwise exploit. It is quite literally the ability to do what the nobleman asks of his even cautious servant. We are now without excuse.
πŸ”‚ "Take the mina from him and give it.." Life is a use it or lose it affair. Life is a winner takes all affair. Again, Bailey's Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes allows this parable to be read open-endedly, with a wink. The master as clearly been generous throughout, and so removing this unused token from the servant who has demonstrated no use for it seems a fairly intuitive move in a fairly simple negotiation, and it is not then conclusively shown that the servant does not repent.

Lk19v25-26 My being and body understands this spiritual principle, even though it is quite hard to codify, it is open to poor readings, bad intellectualising and problematic theologies. It is not that God is impressed by the successful, indeed, God's investment portfolio is not a safe bet. Rather, it is a principle on this side of the divine-human dance, that attentiveness to God begets greater transformation of heart, which begets greater attentiveness to God - this is a virtuous circle built into what it means (and has to mean) to spend time with the source of life - we get more life. Just as it can become a vicious cycle of resisting God because he is opaque to us, and his being opaque to us because we resist him. Life begets life, more begets more. Because the Kingdom of God is fractal, the Kingdom of Ends is always also a Kingdom of Means, further up and further in.

Lk19v27-28 πŸ“•πŸ†šπŸ“— This parable of the minas is very crucially different from the parable of the talents in Mt25v14-30
Mt - Master goes on journey v14
Lk - Nobleman goes on journey to become a King v12
Mt - Master gives 3 servants 5,2,1 talents v15
Lk - Master gives 10 servants 10 minas v13
Mt - n/a
Lk - Citizens of nobleman hate him, rebelling and rejecting his leadership v14
Mt - Master returns and calls account v19
Lk - Master returns and calls account v15
Mt - Servants have variously made 2x, 2x, and 0x v17-18
Lk - Servants have variously made 10x, 5x and 0x v16-v19
Mt - Profitable servants are called good and faithful v21 v23
Lk - Profitable servants are called good and faithful v17
Mt - Unprofitable servant calls master a hard man and was afraid and buries talent v25
Lk - Unprofitable servant calls master a severe man and was afraid and lays mina away in handkerchief v21
Mt - Unprofitable servant should have put talent in the bank and is condemned as "wicked and slothful" and is ordered to be cast into outer darkness with gnashing of teeth v30
Lk -  Unprofitable servant should have put talent in the bank and is condemned as "wicked" v22-23
Mt - n/a
Lk - The citizen/enemies are ordered to be slaugtered v27
⚔ The v27 "enemies of mine who did not want me to reign over them.." refers to v14 the "citizens hated him .. saying 'We do not want this man to reign over us..'" This book-ending of Luke's account with the cultural context radically transforms this moral tale about good stewardship.
πŸ‘©‍🏫 So the different parables teach:
Mt: Make good use of the talents you have.
Lk: Make good use of the talents you have over and against those who would oppose so doing.
πŸ‘Ί Opposition. In this case, and in all cases, there is no mere household management. Nothing is ever merely administration. It is all spiritual warfare. It is all played out in the light of eternity. It all requires courage, and faith in God's final justice and vindication.
🎭 Culture. We make economic decisions in the context of a culture which is partisan to the core. We transact is an emotionally-loaded and perillous economy. It is not enough to encourage people to make good and work hard. Acknowledge that there is another side on the pitch. But. Then, have confidence that God is bigger-than.
🦁 Sloth. The sluggard says there is a lion in the street. (Pr26v13, Pr22v13). The wicked servant claims God is a hard man, as bluster to cover the fear-of-man. However, there are lions in the street. There is a Survivorship Bias. The citizen/enemies didn't lynch the faithful servants. But they could have. How then do I conduct my business, and tell my testimony and exercise my gifts? With the bold confidence that God will be just in the end if I will be faithful in the moment?

Ahead of you
Out of view
Time overlaps
These inter-saps
Prophetic signs 
An ancient road 
He newly rode
So is and was and is to come
Where colts are tied, they are undone

Lk19v31-32 "Follow the white rabbit.." The Matrix engages many layered, archetypal and fundamental symbolisms in this opening scene. We are Neo. We are searching. We are in Room 101, with illicit code for sale inside Baudrillard's tome. Troy and Dujour stand at the door and knock. Neo is their Jesus, and they believe mescaline is the only way to fly. Reality is being interfered with. There are no coincidences. And animals point the way.
πŸ‡ Animals point the way. Jesus is acquianted the pervasive mischief of the animal kingdom's symbollic agents and their participation in God's work. As Elijah's ravens, Noah's dove, Jonah's whale and worm, Balaam's ass, Elisha's she-bears, Daniel's lions..
πŸ‡ Colts are infant animals, irreligous as Lk18v15's infants, they are the cute sprite kittens of the equine world. White rabbity pure and skittish tiddly nimble trip trapping.
We seem to read the Palm Sunday verses on the approach to advent ~
Nov 2015 
~ Mk11v1-2 "..John Lewis hails the official start of little-donkey-little-donkey season.." 
~ Mk11v5-6 "..Oi oi GTA donkey rustlers I see you hauling ass.."
Nov 2013 
~ Mt21v7-8 "..The first Palm Sunday was no fusty stilted Anglican processional, no tidy column of the anaemic middle classes awkwardly clutching dry dessicated dusty palm crosses.."

Lk19v33-34 The 'because' matters, the why, the reason, the cause and constitution. God, please show us the same Because, let it be the one the Lord has need of.

Lk19v35-36 πŸ§₯πŸ‘• "..cloaks on the colt.. cloaks on the road.."
πŸ‘‘ Because donkeys foreshadow the Jewish kingship Ze9v9 1Ki1v33 the commentaries also want disrobing to carry peculiar Israelite association, eg with Jehu 2Ki9v13.
🎩 Clothes are to do with power and human individuation - they are perhaps our preeminent facility for this. Ruskin's interlocutor Carlyle made much of this in Sartor Resartus: "..Clothes have made men of us.."
πŸ”€πŸ’ƒ Worship is a transfer of adornment, an act of civic adornment. When considering the Palm Sunday procession, I have previously meditated on the upholstered urban splendour of a bedraped, begarbed avenue of alfresco soft furnishing rendering the city commons a domestic haven. Such is worship, the harmonic and effulgent commons, a tapestry of diverse contributions displayed.
πŸ”€πŸ§–‍♂ Worship is a transfer of adornment, an act of personal unadornment. See David in 2Sm6v22 will become yet more undignified in worship, see also Jesus in Lk6v29 considers the transfer of clothing to be an act of jiujitsu civil disobedience. We must come naked to God. This is not some peculiar near East tradition. See someone has gone to the trouble of making a compilation thusly.

Lk19v37-38 As he drew near to Jerusalem, the whole of His disciples began to shout out in worship. I have always assumed this to be a calculated move on the disciples part, playing their part in pointing towards the fulfillment of Zec9v9 in a conscious way. But as I read this today I sense in these verses that something is stirring here beyond what any of the disciples know or understand. Not that they are whipped up into pseudo-worship crowd-mentality. Rather, the Spirit seems to hover over the deeps of their collective unconscious, and prompts them to collectively declare, worshipping, that the God Incarnate is close to the zenith of his mission. MS recently told us of his practice in his Bible group of reading each chapter in a gospel in a way that doesn't draw on anything that has not yet happened in the account - no assuming on the knowledge of how it ends. Imagine reading this account for the first time, not knowing that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die. You would sense, I think, that the scene was being set for *something*, that the forces of the universe were conspiring to show that something epic was about to go down. This perhaps is why Jesus says that if the disciples do not worship here then the rocks will cry out - there is something going on here that is beyond individual human wills, it is the whole cosmos screaming and cheering and groaning for its redemption and the donkey and its infinite cargo take a step closer and closer to the black hole of the death of God and the white hot explosion of resurrection.

Lk19v39-40 "Stones would cry out" is there any way to read this that doesn't fall into empty hyperbole or weird literalism? The Bible has plenty of proto animism, Rm8v22's creation groaning in eager expectation and Is55v12's hills breaking forth in song, trees of the field clapping their hands, and perhaps the most interesting Hk2v11's stone's crying out from the wall and the beam from the woodwork responding. ~ Maybe the rocks won't literally cry out. But. It behoves anyone who allegorises these verses and relegates the language to mere hyperbole to justify that as a faith decision measured by the fruit it bears. Allegorisers must gird up their metaphorical loins and live more like a symbol. If they believe that a literalistic reading is inaccurate, their claim would be most fully demonstrated by showing that derivative literalist praxis is unattractive and unprofitable, by comparison to the joy of a more conservative reading. Maybe the rocks won't literally cry out, but if that is the case, it should still be possible for a casual observer of the church to be made to wonder if it could be a live possibility given the earth-shaking effulgence of radical and unfetterable worship going on.
~ Maybe the rocks will literally cry out. It seems a simple thing for those who come-as-children to suspend their disbelief on this matter. I was put in mind of a childhood game Zoombinis which features many talking rocks. I was put in mind of Noel Moules' Q&A here last year on Christian Animism, fashioning "Rocks are persons" as a provocation -  I was put in mind of Levi Bryant's Flat Ontology at the spooky deep end of speculative realism - there is undeniably a need to re-enchant the version of nature which modernity as so totalised. But, Animism is problematic. Even Panentheism is unboundaried. They have no self-limiting principle and obscure a responsible moral distinction between the human and non-human, taken seriously it is either sentimental or terrifying, a privileged metropolitan thought experiment - which I tried to express in my response to Peter Buchanan’s Big Rethink
What's the worst that can happen in seeking to push the inanimate to within an inch of its metaphor - surely better church architecture at least?
Rm8v19's groaning of nature is it waiting for the sons of God to be revealed, that is us taking our right place in the natural world, as servant participant gardeners, cooperating with nature in right reverence.

Lk19v41-42 What is it to have the things that make for peace hidden from one's eyes? This feels like such a poignant and frustrating phrase. I am one who Ps120 longs of peace, but yet do not seem to know the way of peace. There is something needed to unlock or understand that is hidden? Why was peace hidden from Jerusalem? v44 'because you did not know the time of your visitation'. What does this mean? Not recognising Jesus when He is already there, already in visitation, already present? Not believing that He is already in our midst? I do not know what I do not know. Oh God, give me eyes to see.

Lk19v43-44 Jesus weeps for Jerusalem and her children. The city-as-mother trope pervades literature and language ~ metropolis deriving its root from gk mαΈ—ter mother, and it pervades scripture Is66v7-11 "For as soon as Zion was in labour she brought forth her children.. ..Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast.."  The allegory implicates how we think about both motherhood and cities and how we conduct ourselves as offspring and citizens.
😒 Jesus weeps for the tragedy of a city-as-mother subjected to judgement, he weeps in light of comparison, the tragic is not inevitable, another city was designed, another city is possible.
πŸ€°πŸ™ Mothering-as-City is a many layered metaphor concerning a caused and causing, relationally dynamic, total prevenient environment
- Mothering can be caused by: violent injustice of abuse (Sad) or calculated callous infidelty (Bad) or faithful intimacy (Glad)
- Mothering can be performed: without support or hope (Sad) or with selfish cynical neglect (Bad) or costly nurture (Glad)
Scouting out city-as-mother in the bible, Gal4v24-27 offers a complex analogy of city-mother in Sarah: free (Glad) or in Hagar: slave (Sad) and then, within Ez16 and Is1v21 and Ho2v3 we find city-mother as Gomer: whore (Bad) - Jesus here weeps for Jerusalem-as-whoreon the brink of her destruction. The tragedy is acute as it is relative to what a glad city could have been and how she has distorted that. This is a new way of thinking about cities for me, more dimensioned than the Zion:Babel scale (sorry it is forming a slightly long thought-in-process)
πŸ‘° City Dressed. The city, in God's design, is supposed to be adorned as a bride, as a symphony of a festive commons Ez16. Any city should be blessed by Christians generally planting trees etc Jr29v7, but also specifically and symbolically, in the theatrical costumed effusive enactment of the spectacular advent of the peculiar Christ event. Dressing up the city in perennial and persistent explication-of and embodiment-of the incarnation-as-wedding-feast. The church is a bride Eph5v25 2Co11v2, but further, the city is a bride Is52 (partly because the church is a city (within a city)). Being-as-bride is not a private sentimental contract but rather more a public performative symbolism - where dressing is the necessary signposting for a bride's transformed and transforming social role.
🧟‍♀ City Stripped. The city-whore-mother picture is viscerally completed in the juxtaposition of Palm Sunday's exuberant city-adorning (Lk19v36 "spread their cloaks on the road" / Is52v1 "put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem") with Harrowing Prophetic cruel city-stripping (Lk19v44  "tear you down to the ground.." / Ho2v3 "strip her naked .. make her like a wilderness, and make her like a parched land..")  Good-enough mothering here considers marital faithfulness to be the supply of its sufficiency, without which the city-as-mother's adornment flickers out like the Piccadilly Circus lights off in 28 Days Later.
 πŸš..🏜 City Destroyed "not leave one stone upon another" The disciples elsewhere comment Mk13v1 "Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones.." painting a picture of Jerusalem as conspicuously adorned. Cities are adorned, and it may be impossible to tell wheat form tares, as it pertains to ethics of adornment as they present. Clearly Jesus encourages the display of urban adornment rendered in the Palm Sunday parade. Against this, Jesus' comment just prior that the Lk19v40 "the stones would cry out.." cannot have been unaware that the last stones to cry out were Habakkuk's, who did so as a cry for help under the crushing strain of injustice. Where a city-as-mother is embellished by injustice it/she self-destructs and buries her children with her. Her children are inextricably oedipally bound up in her totality for good or ill. Thusly we, until we are in-but-not-of, are coddled into immaturity by London, smothered culpably.
"knew not the time of your visitation.." This reads like innocent ignorance ~ as if Jerusalem just didn't get the memo..  I can't find exact commentary to back this up, but it doesn't sit well. The implication of "because" is that this destruction is a reasonable response to willed ignorance, blinded their own eyes, choosing to not hear Ze7v11 Ac7v57 2Ti4v4. Partly, this is the same Jerusalem that had been through all the OT's cycles of rebellion, repentance and rebuilding. Partly, it is always the time of your visitation, every day is the last day, like the parable of ten virgins with oil lamps, it is always the eve of the wedding, we are always culpable.

Lk19v45-46 This morning,on the tube, or wherever you are, remember - 1Cor6v19 your body is a temple, Eph2v19-22 your community is a temple, Col1v16-17 the cosmos is a temple. May you know the Christ wreaking havoc throughout the whole, and specifically at each of these scales. The self contains a den of robbers, so does the church, so does the world. Christ turns the tables in the heart, in relationships, in global systems, to return each to a place of prayer. May it be.

Lk19v47-48 πŸŒ…πŸŒ„ "daily" What do you do *daily?* There is a role for relentless rhythms. The day-in-day-out day-to-day of reliable robust rinse-repeat routines. The nearest thing to *daily* that we have are devotional times, promoted as therapeutic behavioural change, pious gym regimes, habit forming methodologies for a private faith in personal holiness. Corporate public *daily* expressions of disruptive earnest social change? Those are risky high-maintenance hassles.
πŸ§™‍♂πŸ‘¨‍⚖🀴 "priests, scribes, notables" Jesus is shot from both sides. Or even from all three sides of an unholy trinity allied against his peculiarly offensive person and doctrine. Jesus undermines conservativism, socialism and liberalism all at once. Three doctrines of combatively exclusive political philosophy, self-selecting the predisposed to defend their respective system motivated by pride to manage manufactured scarcity. Three united, only briefly, and without irony, by a common enemy: Jesus. Jesus' doctrine of abundance undermines the three cartels: the priests moral influence, the scribes technical influence, and the chief's economic/political influence. Do you?
πŸ•³ "destroy" (The will to annihilate comes from moral disgust: see Lk9v53-54) How do you provoke this in people? What sort of relationship and behaviour has this sort of response? What is like to get up in the morning with the mindset that I am a virus in mainframe of modernity, I am a chink in the armour of London, I am a fly in the ointment of therapeutic moral deism.. What is it to obnoxiously revel in being abhorrent to such as those? "..their scorched earth annihilation bids through the lens of Jonathan Haidt's Moral Disgust. There is necessarily a trajectory towards genocide in the religiouse mind, and it stems from disgust. Whereas you run or freeze in the face of Fear, in the case of Disgust you have to destroy or expel the infection, drown the witches, swat the cockroaches 
🚑 "hanging on his words" Do you? Do they? I picture a man suspended over a precipice, hands clenched in a white knuckled clasp for-dear-life onto the serif of a vast neon sign. I picture his kids clung to his trousers. I picture rope thrown down to his whole household. What word is it for you? Blameless & Beloved.