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
“Blessed are you!” Blessed are you who embrace the poverty of Jesus, a poverty which allowed him to pour out everything for those he loved. Blessed are you poor who immigrate to find a better life and blessed are you who embrace their poverty in welcoming and friendship. Blessed are you when you hunger for righteousness, justice, and peace. Blessed are you who hunger for equality and just systems, and blessed are you whose hunger leads you to act to end racism, misogyny, and prejudice. Blessed are you when you weep over the suffering of a friend. Blessed are you when you weep over violence between nations. Blessed are you when you weep over the lack of welcome for the stranger or the refugee, when you weep for the injustice that masquerades as “life in the real world.” Blessed are you when people hate you because of who you stand for and what you stand for. Blessed are you when people hate you because you stand with the Prince of Peace and the Just Judge. Blessed are you when people know that you follow Jesus not just because of your words but through your deeds. … More The Makarios
Every day something new is coming to us, and we had better be ready! That’s the promise of new life, the gift contained in our deeper desire found through the deeper water. Let’s not miss it. Let’s stay awake and alert, expectant, and hopeful. I don’t want to miss it and I don’t want you to either.
So, let’s “put out into the deep water” of our lives and “let down [our] nets for a catch.” … More In the Deep Water of Our Deeper Desire
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?
They themselves became the image of the incarnation, where humanity and divinity become one.
At the incarnation, with the birth of Jesus, in the Word become flesh, God disarms completely. It was an absolutely insane and risky thing to do: trusting a people with such a horrible track record of violence and war with the birth of the son of God. But, that is precisely what God does! God gambles on us. It’s an incredulous, risky gamble when God bets on us, pushing all the chips in and saying, “No matter what I’m holding and no matter what you’re holding, no matter the cards left in the deck. I’m all here. I’m all in. I’m with you.” … More The Gamble of the Incarnation
Here at the table can be found all of God’s forgiveness and mercy, all of God’s love and compassion, all of God’s justice and concern for the poor and marginalized. All of God’s grace is given to us in this meal. It is a visible, tangible reminder of what Jesus comes to do: give himself for the life of the world. Eating is necessary for life, and so if we’ve got a new life in Christ, it will require food. … More The Bread We Eat