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)
“What fruit am I producing?” “How much?” “Is it an acceptable quality?” Those are good questions if we understand and ask them diagnostically, as questions not about the quantity of our lives but the quality of our lives. That’s what Jesus is after. That is the deeper question he is asking. It is the invitation to join the conversation, jump into the game, participate, and live fully alive. That only happens when the life, the love, and the goodness and holiness of Christ flow in us. We become an extension of and manifest his life, love, and holiness. … More Connectivity, not Productivity
The opportunities for a laying down life kind of love are everywhere. You don’t have to go far. They are the family and friends we see every day. They are the people of this parish and of this town. They are the strangers who pass through our lives. They are the anonymous ones talked about as issues of poverty, hunger, homelessness, education. The opportunities for laying down life love are not just circumstances. They are people, human beings created in the image and likeness of God. … More Hearing His Voice
Shalom means much more than “peace.” Or “peace” means much more than what we think it means. Since shalom means to convey that all is well with the world, all is just, all is fair, all is the way God means it to be, it ultimately means something more like, “What are you doing to make the world look more like God’s world than Caesar’s world?” … More Have you anything to eat?!
What are the doors that are locked in your life? What are the things that have kept you stuck in the same place? I’ll say it again, that’s just the starting place. Don’t judge it as good or bad, right or wrong. It’s just where you are and it’s the place Christ shows up. It happened twice in today’s gospel. Both times the disciples are in the same house behind the same locked doors and Jesus shows up. He stands in the midst of them. The walls and the locked doors of their house could not keep Jesus out. And the walls and locked doors of your house will not keep him out. … More Get Out of the House!
In the many ways your life and my life has changed and is different from last Easter, for good or for bad (or a mix of both), the story is still true! Regardless of who you are, what you’ve done, or left undone, Easter is still happening. The story was true yesterday, it is true today, and it will be true tomorrow. And while it may take months or even years for resurrection to free us, the promise of today is that God never leaves anyone in the darkness of the tomb. The stones of our lives are being rolled back, the tombs are being emptied, and the messenger is proclaiming the good news, “He has been raised; he is not here.” … More Two Easter Questions