Like a slithering viper tucked away in a crevice, this sort of mental credentialing is dangerous precisely because we can’t see it. The crowd gathered around John in today’s reading was different in many ways, but John addressed them all equally in their need to reform their lives.
This Advent, think about the little seed of hope we all carry within us and how we can nurture that hope so that in due time we will bring forth a vision of hope that will encompass the world.
It’s not always bad news when God comes to us in the form of judges and lawyers.
The Mary and Martha story is the Gospel reading for the Feast Day of Nicholas Ferrar, a deacon who founded a religious community in England that devoted itself to continuous prayer, to teaching, to the health and well being of its neighbors and to intentional poverty
Paul argues that the kingdom turns people not into kings, but into apostles.
We have the promise of not retribution, but mercy coming to live among us, judging with righteousness and equity the cause of the oppressed.
Today’s gospel warns us about many pitfalls in our approach to Christ: either-or thinking, protecting our reputation for being right, and fearing the anger of others. How we deal with questions of faith may matter more than getting the answers right.
None of these verses say, “Be alert so that…. won’t happen.” They just ask us to keep awake, to notice what’s going on, to be aware of one another and the world. Apparently that’s pretty important because the Bible talks about it a lot.
It would be a very dull world if we all were alike enough to all like the same hymn. We all have different experiences, different needs, different tastes. I think Watts understood this, and wrote accordingly.
The Red Sea crossing isn’t the only way that God makes to freedom.
You are my mainstay, my bedrock, my awakening and my fulfillment, my hope in the darkest times and my joy in the brightest. A thousand times, thank you.
Never have I appreciated more the long view: the wisdom traditions, prophets, the dream-sequence symbolic truth of apocalyptic literature. I am going back and reading old words: the scriptures, but also beloved writers like Thoreau, Hildegard of Bingen, James Baldwin, Rumi.
The thing that struck me about the disciples, however, it that no matter how confused they get they still act. They continue to follow Jesus and he continues to upset their preconceived notions of what he should be doing
…apocalypses are written when times are bad. They are not upbeat. In fact, they are always the code-language of the oppressed when times are worst. But the very fact that we have them, that apocalypses were enshrouded one day as sacred scripture, tells us who was vindicated.
Perhaps true kingship is not what it appears to be.