Jesus challenges us today to look beyond our borders and our walls, to see beyond any of the myriad self-imposed lines that we draw: religion, denomination, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status – even the line of faith. God invites us to expand our family today in ways that are just as shocking as it was to Mark’s first-century audience.
We must be careful not to fall for the temptations of power, wealth, and lust that were a constant temptation to Israel and have always tempted humanity. For those who would name themselves Christian – that is, followers of Jesus the Christ – the challenge is to shift the allegiance away from the kingdoms and ideologies of this world unto the kingdom of God. We are invited to hold on to our hope in Christ – for justice, peace, and life – remaining strong against the repercussions that will come, staying faithful and refusing those “values” that don’t produce and demonstrate love. After all, to quote the Most Rev’d. Michael Curry, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God.”
… More Where are you?
The power of the Nicodemus narrative is the way in which we readers, thousands of years later, are invited ourselves to be transformed. We are transformed not by information and facts but by God’s reality in creation. We are transformed because we have become witnesses not to an ideology but to the movement of God. We stand alongside Nicodemus bound by our physical bodies and limited perspective, and invited likewise to participate in the movement of God. … More The Divine Flow
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