If we are honest, we don’t really have to go far to find those living among the tombs. There are those in our communities, those in our neighborhoods, those inside our churches simply wanting to be seen and heard and given the dignity of any human being. There are those who long to experience healing and compassion in a world that is often forgotten them, disabused them of their identities, and pushed them out of the city. There are those who spend their days and nights in the places of the dead, who long for the good news of Jesus’ love, welcome, and hope. So, the invitation to the man dispossessed is now our invitation. We, having been dispossessed ourselves, are invited to imbue the world and the church with new life, new hope, and new inspiration. We are invited to the boldness of welcoming others from the tombs and loosening the shackles that have kept them bound. … More The Living among the Dead
And here, as a little bit more midrash, I can’t help but wonder if we might not sometimes act like the hometown crowd in the synagogue that day. Do we see ourselves as Jesus’ favorites? Don’t we assume some privileged status when it comes to Jesus, expecting Jesus to always choose our nation, our party, our side, our church? Frankly, this leaves us in danger of being passed over because when we assume our privilege we fail to recognize our own brokenness and our hurt. And then we rage! We rage to avoid, to disguise, and to compensate for what hurts us. We rage to avoid the emptiness and hunger within and when our privilege is threatened. We rage so we do not have to face ourselves but behind our rage is brokenness, and who here doesn’t know what that’s like? … More What’s Behind the Rage?
When people in the ancient stories crossed water, they were moving from something into something new – liberation, new mission, new creation. As the disciples move across the sea with Jesus, they are struck by a storm that interrupts there journey. But Jesus is there with them in the boat, and it is Jesus who invites them to greater understanding and faith. As we walk through the pandemic, do we recognize Jesus with us, or do we complain that he is asleep in the stern. … More A Little Grace to Dispel the Storm
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?
Through our belief in Jesus, we have the power to heal other people’s lives, just by our presence in theirs. We are called to be healers. We receive our strength, not from ourselves, but from God. On this Christ the King Sunday, our scriptures are clear about the “immeasurable greatness of [God’s] power for us who believe.” As we complete another turning of the wheel of liturgical time, may we renew our commitment to be grounded in this power to seek Christ in all persons and love our neighbor as ourselves, even though we may look foolish to the world for loving so lavishly, and we may fail. With God’s help, we can also, thankfully, begin again. … More Contemplation in Action
For this Love is the most powerful force in the world. Love that conquered death, rolled back the stone of oppression, injustice, and violence to bring us to new life and new hope in our risen, living Savior. Love that knocks at the doors of our hearts and asks to be allowed in. Love that is based on real peace and abundance for all. Love that calls us to act to heal our world in place of the violence that continues to wound it. Let’s step forward in faith and hope, seeking to embody the only law that matters– the Law of Love. … More The Law of Love