We need to gather as God’s people right now and ask the Holy Spirit to instruct us, shape us, remake us, and commission us. We need a fresh language of bridge-building and new words to rekindle joy. We need the wind and fire of God to transform us and wrestle us from our complacency. It’s time for us to speak new words and tell new stories, to create new relationships and kindle old love. Here’s the thing: No matter how passionately I disagree with your opinions and beliefs, I cannot disagree with your experience. Once I have learned to hear and speak your story in the words that matter most to you, then I have stakes I never had before. I can no longer thrive at your expense. I can no longer make you my Other.
The Spirit broke down barriers on that Pentecost by loosening the tongues of the disciples and by opening the ears of the crowd so that they were able to hear each other. God compelled the disciples to engage, to press in, to linger, listen, and speak.
The Spirit has come, and silence is no longer an option.
… More The Spirit has come, silence is no longer an option.
The Ascension narratives at the end of Luke’s Gospel and the beginning of Acts are both immediately tied to the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Together these are two moments of the same process and complete the act that began with the resurrection. The Ascension, therefore, is not really about Jesus’ absence but about a presence in a new and more powerful way. Moreover, the Ascension narrative invites us to take our place with Jesus at the right hand of God to fulfill our original blessing to have dominion (in a loving Godly way) over creation. What is holding us down from accepting the invitation! What do we need to do to defy gravity and live the ascended life? … More Defying Gravity! (An Ascension Story)
Our Lent has begun! On the journey, I pray that we may know the company of Jesus, and enter with courage the wilderness before us. May our time testing among the wild beasts teach us our true identity as precious children of God. Then, when the angels in all their sweet and secret guises whisper the name “beloved” into our ears, may we listen and believe. … More The Wilderness of Our Identity
May we find spaces in which we can be brave enough to tell our stories in the light. And to proclaim from the rooftops that all of our hope is in the love of God—redeeming and reconciling love. Love powerful enough to cast out fear. Love radical enough to reorder our world. And God entrusts all of this to you and me and something as fragile as a story. Amen. … More To Tell Our Stories
In the Magnificat, Mary reveals the birth of the Messiah is the sign of what God’s kingdom looks like. The Incarnation is the foreshadowing of the age to come.
In the incarnation, God became flesh! But God did not become flesh as Caesar or Pharaoh; but, rather, God became flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, son of a peasant woman in an occupied land. If this could happen then the mighty were as good as cast down from their thrones and the hungry were as good as fed. Yes, these were as good as accomplished because in becoming flesh God is in fact breaking the age to come into our world. Mary goes on to sing that this is not some new thing God is doing, but it is in fulfillment of all that God has promised Israel. The God of Israel is now acting in human history in such a way that it will not just break the kingdom of God into this age for the Jews, but for all humanity. … More Casting Down the Mighty
Today we are invited to the wilderness in order to find our way home, to find our place in the world. There is no way around the wilderness. The wilderness is the place where Israel found and we will find our place with God. … More John the Baptist and a Displaced People