The Apostle Paul and Silas encounter a young woman caught in slavery, in profit others can gain from her… Their response is less than perfect, but the story that unfolds continues to teach them, and us, how love and liberation work together.
The Revelation to John invites the early churches to claim citizenship in a city unlike any other… to give up the worship of armies and emperors and be renewed by living waters and God’s presence. As citizens of this city in the world today, how shall we live?
We meet a disciple, Tabitha, who has wrapped her community in care and blessing, but has died. With Peter, we go to her bedside to wonder at the ways the works of loving hands can be a part of the work of Christ’s heart… and the life still left here where the cast out are welcomed and clothed in dignity.
Jesus visits disciples who have run back to the shore in the midst of uncertainty, and calls them into new mission and ministry. We are called, too, to feed beloved children of God of wide and wondrous flocks, expanding God’s welcome rather than shutting ourselves in.
A group of women who live and serve Jesus go to his tomb and find a stone rolled away… and they look inside, where their hearts had broken just a few days before, and find the possibility of new life. Where are the cracks in our lives where we must be unafraid to look in order to make life possible?
As Jesus enters Jerusalem he enacts a parade which mocks those who would store up power for themselves, rather than giving it away. An ancient hymn of the church invites us to consider how we might be called into a ministry in which our life-giving gives us life, rather than draining and dismantling us.
Mary, a friend and follower of Jesus, anoints him with oil and perfume at a dinner party. He claims it as an anointing before his death. We wonder at how touch can honor and care for the priceless gift of life we find in friends and guides along our ways.
Jesus tells a parable about grace and wholeness, and we can be tempted to center ourselves in the place of welcome and healing. Instead, can we grapple with the ways we sometimes want to guard God’s grace, rather than inviting everyone to the party?
We ponder the, “why?” of work in our lives as the prophet Isaiah offers God’s abundant blessing and nourishment. Are we working for that which sustains us? Does our work overflow into abundance for everyone?
On a day in which we grieve the pain of siblings in Abraham in the mosques of Christchurch, NZ, we remember that God makes a promise to Abraham, and Abraham believes… in a way that makes space for the continuing discovery and expansion of God’s promise and blessing.