When one part of the body is ill, the rest of reacts to it and tries to bring things back to normalcy. Something in disharmony does not function well, and we can’t always just ignore it and think God will fix it for us.
In the past few weeks, I’ve met with people who, when they try to take a step toward mercy and help, find their way blocked. In some cases, the church itself, and me personally, have been experienced as barriers to that mercy and help. Sometimes, particular communities and individuals are very powerful conduits of the merciful embrace and gracious help of Jesus. But at other times, we find ourselves blocking the way between the powerful work of Jesus and the profound needs of people.
John 3:16 Revisited Lately I’ve quit taking offense when I see “John 3:16” stickers on the bumpers of huge, gas-guzzling…
Today is when we can open and soften our hearts, and keep them from closing off. Today is when the people around us can feel the compassionate difference we make in the world, even if they can’t see us at work.
Mark 8:31-38 As we all learned very early in Sunday school, the word “gospel” literally means “good news.” Yet this…
We forget that we’ve eaten our fill thanks in part to whole systems of undercompensated labor, generations of agricultural advances, and the blessings of fertile soil and favorable climates. We forget that we have shelter thanks in part to government subsidies and home mortgages that have historically favored some racial groups over others.
Well, by now, if you’ve chosen a Lenten fast or discipline this year, you are a few days into it. How’s that been going for you? If the answer is “not very doggone well, actually,”…take heart.
During this Lent, let us become the kind of seeker the Song of Songs tells us about. Let us seek and be open to all possibilities, no matter how remote, exotic, mundane or seemingly impossible. If we pay attention we can find what we are looking for.
Imagine if that were the priority of Christians everywhere: the pursuit of real freedom from all the substances, stereotypes, and systems that enslave us. Imagine if it weren’t acceptable to plead that we were simply “unable” to recognize the signs that someone in our sphere of responsibility, or merely in our midst, was enslaved in the ways that the Scripture warns us about. Imagine if we couldn’t claim that we simply didn’t have the right information, or that our processes were faulty.
God will find any opening in human consciousness that presents itself to God, and then God will start changing awareness and opening the soul to love. Incrementally, over the long haul, like waves on a shore where the tide is coming in, God makes God’s self known.
Our faith is challenged by a God who turns out to be more compassionate than we realized.
Mark 1: 9-15 There are times when scripture seems to run on and on to make a single point. This…
There’s an interesting theory about today’s gospel reading. Quite possibly, the author of John’s gospel crafted this passage by adding theological commentary and narrative material to what was originally a poem or hymn text familiar to Christians in his community.
At some point between two hills, transfiguration and the skull, these conniving disciples would start to understand. They’d have to give up delusions of grandeur, their secret dreams, and their own stubborn wills.
Whatever day we choose to honor these two brothers, we can also celebrate all those who, like them, took spoken languages and created a way to preserve and develop those languages and the cultures that use them. It is a gift not just to one group of people but to the whole world, helping to preserve some of the great diversity that exists among humankind all over the globe.