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Jesus Echoes the Prophets

The prophets insisted upon justice — honesty in all things; equality and dignity for people; special compassion for the poor, the widow, and the alien. The prophets insisted upon holiness — humble obedience to God and God’s ways, right relationships among people, integrity of character. The prophets insisted upon generosity — fair distribution of property and wealth, humility from the powerful, compassion from all.

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When you know you are completely loved, completely safe and completely accepted, you are free to be who you are. You can live non-defensively — openly and generously.

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Learning from the Edge

The inner circle didn’t understand. Maybe they were too close. But when Jesus took the twelve aside and tried to explain to them the most important aspect of his calling and mission, they didn’t get it.

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Stewardship is a spiritual issue. What we do with what we get is important.

God has blessed us. Our thankful return of the first fruits is a grateful acknowledgment to God that God is the source of our wealth and blessing. And God has made us responsible for the welfare of our neighbor, especially the poor and vulnerable.

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True Repentance

Repent means a lot more than to feel contrition. It’s about a lot more than sins. Repent is about the direction of our lives.

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Religious Conflicts

Maybe the most predictable thing that can be said about religion is that there will be conflict about how we practice and what we believe.

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Being Reconciled to God

Over and over Paul speaks of reconciliation, but almost always he speaks of our being reconciled toward God. In Paul’s language, it is human beings who are offended, angry, even hostile toward God. It it we who need to be reconciled to God. In Paul’s view, we find ourselves in a helpless and hostile condition toward God, and we need to sense ourselves reconciled to God.

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Hannah’s Prayer and Psalm 72

The facts and circumstances of her life have not changed perceptively. She still has no child; she is not pregnant. She is still living with her husband’s other wife who taunts her. She returns from her prayer to the same circumstances that she has lived with for so long. But everything has changed.

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Folly and Pride Unbound

It’s obvious to see the good news this story offers to everyone whose wheels have fallen off. This is good news to those who have been obviously stupid and self-indulgent.

It is less obvious how good this news is for the elder son.

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

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