Saturday, September 8, 2012


Be opened
Mark 7: 31 - 37

People continued to flock around Jesus and brought him a blind and deaf man. Jesus takes him aside into a quiet space where, Mark tells us, he looked into heaven, sighed and asked that all that was closed in him, be opened.

Once, while living into a painful, unending situation, I found myself closing in on the world around me in order to protect my own heart.  I journeyed into this darkness unaware of what Mary Oliver calls, a small box, that once opened, exposed a kind of torrent I would never have thought was a gift.  It’s only in retrospect that my eyes are opened and I can now see that the darkness was meant to point me in a direction I may never have otherwise chosen. 

 Luba Zakharov

Friday, September 7, 2012


He sighed
Mark 7: 24-30

Mark tells us that Jesus, busy with the work of healing the sick, wanted a moment to be anonymous, so he found a house where he could hang out, but it was now impossible for him to rest.  ‘Immediately’ a mother came to him to beg for healing of her tormented daughter, possessed by an unclean spirit, and Jesus heals her daughter by questioning the intentions of the mothers’ heart.  He did so without even seeing the child – it was done by the power of God pouring out from within him. As this kind of healing work continued, he realized that his own thick headed disciples couldn’t understand the way he was re-interpreting the law and re-creating new life by healing these worn and broken lives. “Are you as dull as the rest?” Jesus asks with a heavy, sighing heart that perhaps prefigures a later text that tells us, Jesus wept.

 Luba Zakharov

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Isaiah 35

Isaiah describes the flowering fields of wilderness that grow a type of lily called the asphodel.  It is from this landscape of asphodels that a voice roars out to the anxious, “be strong and fear not,” reminiscent of Gabriel’s call to Mary, “fear not.”  But before this call to let go fear, there is a gentle word to strengthen the feeble arms and steady tottering knees.  Why?  Well, LOOK!  See, your God comes with vengeance, in a roar of love, to save you, to open blind eyes, to heal, to unstop deafness, and loose the tongues of those unable to shout like the One who is God; the One who has filled this field with ever-growing, immortal asphodel.

 Luba Zakharov

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Psalm 125

Mount Baldy sits perched above the hills that surround the valley where I live.  Every mountain in every country on this earth has its own lore.   

Although we live close by, I rarely drive to the top of Mt. Baldy, but I did, recently, travel to its base with a friend.  After many winding roads we arrived and took in the view while we had lunch at a lodge-like restaurant.  The air was quiet and even on this hot day the sun, with the cool breeze, enfolded us with warmth.  In the winter Mount Baldy is where the snow packs deeply enough to ski.  It is the mountain that I see on clear days, trusting its steadfastness, knowing it will always be there, unshakable, in this Southern California landscape, a measured trope of God’s own steadfastness. 

 Luba Zakharov

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The One who said
James 2: 8- 10, 11-13

As Christian people, we live for the One who speaks:  the One who speaks to us, the One who has spoken in and through the past to our ancestors.  There is a line of folk on whose shoulders we stand, believing as we do, in our Lord Jesus Christ.  In this line, ours is to echo the voice that transformed the law with the love of sacrifice – a voice passed onto us from the breath of Jesus who, knowing his own departure was near, said he’d send another One - a comforter, a holy spirit who would guide us as James says, ‘under a law of freedom.’  This One, who took the judgment on himself, said there would be no mercy for those who do not show mercy.  

 Luba Zakharov

Monday, September 3, 2012


Believing as you do
James 2:1–7
“My sisters,” says James 2:1 – or at least that is how I read the words written to us as the church – “my sisters (yes, and brothers), believing as you do in our Lord Jesus Christ...” let’s just stay with this, seeing the power of belief among us and how this alone can draw us close, leading us to want that nearness with others. 

But that closeness can be fraught with tension, fear and the pride of wanting what or who I imagine is better than me or rather, what is safe.  This ‘snobbery’ (The New English Bible) points to my own tendency to sometimes gravitate toward the well-dressed, safe, gold-ringed folk – those who don’t walk into a room exposing obvious needs.

Perhaps being intentional about looking at this power of belief among us -- this power that is near to us -- can be the place where I gain the confidence (from my sisters and brothers) to step into the honored name by which God has claimed me.

 Luba Zakharov

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