Invisible Murder

As you might have guessed, I like foreign mysteries. I am on the lookout for Americans who separate themselves from the crowd. Most of them follow the same well-worn path. At least foreign stories include a view of the country and culture.

These two women, Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, have created an unusual character in Nina Borg, a Danish Red Cross nurse with a passion for the unwanted and dispossessed. Her passion tends to get her in trouble. In this story, she goes to help several sick children of Hungarian Roma families who were smuggled into the country. legally, she is required to report them, but she is too soft-hearted to do so. After several visits, she becomes ill and enters the hospital where they discover she has radiation poisoning.

Meanwhile, PET–Politiets Efterretningstjeneste, or Security and Intelligence Service–are trying to uncover a security threat to Denmark that they know originated in Hungary. The two threads come together and the attack is thwarted, but at a cost to most involved.

This is the second book in a three book series featuring Nina Borg. The first book was The Boy in the Suitcase.

I like the realism the authors have created for their characters. Nina is so focused on her work that she loses her family in this story. Soren is so drained when it is over that he wishes he was married so he could rest in his lover’s arms. Sandor has his law degree taken from him. Skou-Larsen died of a heart attack.

I mostly read reality-based stories, though I have been a fan of Star Trek since September 8, 1966. But I have never read one of the many books based on the series and movies. The same is true of Star Wars. I have reported on some dystopian books that I enjoyed reading, and The Martian was fun.

I’m a historian. I like reality.

Mike Lawrence

A Gift from the Father

 

1 Kings 8:1-43

Psalm 84

Ephesians 6:10-20

John 6:56-69

 

Many of Jesus’ followers could not understand the idea of eating his flesh. Even if we take it as a metaphor, the image was too appalling.

Chapter 6 is loaded. Bread is the theme. In all of this, verse 65b is a key. This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to me on his own. You get to me only as a gift from the FatherMSG

Mercy is the gift. It comes from God, not Jesus. Jesus is what God would be if he could be human. God is God, One and Only. Jesus is a flesh-and-blood human who obeyed God every day without fail. The Messiah—God’s representative on earth—existed before Creation. Think of the Messiah as that part of God which serves as the blueprint for humans.

Yet, that is too limiting. The Messiah is the blueprint for the countless stars, planets, rocks, trees, grass, and animals of the universe. God created all of it in the image of the Messiah. When the time was right, the Messiah was born to a human body.

But his essence was God. It is easiest for us to call Jesus the Son of God because that is the closest human connection in our experiences.

When John sat down in his later years, possibly as the last surviving Apostle, to write his version of the Life of Christ, he returned to Genesis. For John, it is crucial that we understand Jesus has always existed. Even before the creation, Jesus existed.

But notice, In beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the WordUnited Bible Society interlinear translation The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the WordMSG At the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, and he existed with God from the beginningPhillips

 

For John, God speaks, and all we see comes into existence. The Word is all God needs to create a universe. God speaks to a teenage girl, and she carries a child. He speaks, and the child is named Yeshua—Jesus. When Yeshua speaks, he speaks the Word of God because he is the Word of God.

 

Chapter 1, verse 4: In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankindPhillips This short line is so often overlooked, and so powerful. It is John’s thesis statement. Jesus is the Light, and he is the Life. He uses both terms more than the other gospels, especially Life.

Jesus is Life. Bread is life. To have life we must eat Jesus.

We know that the body of Jesus is gone. John does not record the ascension, so we will look at Luke 24:51. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heavenESV We cannot eat his body in the physical sense, but that is not what he meant anyway. As William Barclay put it: When he told us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he was telling us to feed our hearts and souls and minds on his humanity, and to revitalize our lives with his life until we are filled with the life of God.

For John, it seems we eat and drink the Holy Eucharist when we sit with other people and share a part of our selves with them. Jesus did that at the beginning of chapter 6.

By the time John wrote, the Eucharist was being celebrated in many ways by Jews, Greeks, and a UN of others. For John, it must be about Life. How we eat and drink is not the important point. Eat the bread that is the Word of God. Drink the wine that is the Life of the Word of God.

Bless and be blessed.

Read my earlier comments on this theme here.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence