February 17, 2019
Wheat and weeds, trees and birds, yeast and flour. It’s a lot to handle. It takes time, context, understanding. In our eagerness to know Jesus more, we try to think we have decoded the message, when the bottom line is that Jesus is teaching them to listen. Teaching them to trust. Teaching them to follow and watch with him. We wrestle with these stories and try to make sense out of them. We get confused, and either assign one meaning or another to the story, or move on to something we can more easily understand.
February 10, 2019
It’s not good for us to judge based on human distinctions, to judge the sinfulness of another, or to claim we are better than another. This is not a strong foundation for our life together. But we do it. Is that how we want to be treated? Is it what we think we deserve? We want to judge. We do. It makes us feel superior. Even though we are not. We’re good at thinking of ourselves. God knows. Maybe that’s why we need something like the Golden Rule: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
February 3, 2019
We don’t pray this prayer to be more religious. We pray that we would hear the word and will of God, and be drawn out of our selfishness into the kingdom for the sake of our neighbors. This is our prayer, received in baptism, calling us into a lifetime of work and witness to God’s goodness, and the wholeness that Jesus brings. We pray not for our own glory and honor, but to be reminded that even though we fail to live it out at times, we are loved by our merciful redeemer and forgiven and in turn called to go and forgive ones who hurt us, and to turn to God to rescue us in every need. This prayer boldly claims we are a part of God’s mission, called through the word to serve in the name of the risen Christ and to share God’s mercy grace given to us at great cost.
January 28, 2019
We are not a status quo community. We are a contrast community. We are ones who are different. If we are following Jesus into this already-and-not yet Kingdom, we can know that we have a purpose, to let ALL people know how blessed they are, how held they are, how loved they are, not because they or we got a new car, a comfy mattress, or won a jackpot, or because they or we say great prayers, or seem ultra-connected to the divine, or speak with Godly wisdom, but because they and we are ones who have suffered for Jesus’ sake. We are all ones who are in need of Jesus, and no matter what happens to us, we can be assured that we will still be held in the grace God.