The story of Job calls us to remember that the darkness that mimics the grave – a place where in we think there is no hope, no life, no light, and no future – is the very place God brings forth new life for all.
Jesus travels to what was considered an unclean territory where he meets a man possessed by unclean spirits who lived in an unclean place. In that place, the man whose identity was lost, encounters God’s love in a way that gives him a new life.
This is Transfiguration Sunday, and it calls us to do nothing more and nothing less than lay at the ground before the Almighty, to listen to the voice of the Messiah, and to receive the great empowerment that comes from the touch of the Creator.
Jesus says do NOT resist an evil doer? Should we then sit idly by as evil runs rampant around the world? Hardly. What did Jesus really mean?
The words of Christ do not allow us to write off reconciliation for long simply because the ideal isn’t possible. We have to own our messes, and seek to engage in the forgiving grace of God’s love.
How does one extend signs of the forgiveness of the Creator, how does one engage in the act of reconciliation, when the pain of such brokenness is so real and not so easily forgotten?
Whether you have found yourself in a role similar to the religious elite, addicted to lure of power and ‘rightness,’ or you have found yourself in the shoes of the condemned, addicted to sinful joys, like that of physical desire, Jesus says you are given new life and a new hope in the love of God.
Jesus, when telling the parable of the Bridesmaids, doesn’t seem to draw attention to the fact that some had less oil and some had more. He says we need to be prepared to see the dangers that may lie around us.
As we begin this series, know that the forgiveness God provides is not something that invites us to judge the lack of forgiveness exhibited by others, but something that frees us for more faithful living.
The service centers around the Covenant Prayer, which invites you to offer you commitment to God. We are using this service today, the first day of the New Year, as an invitation to set the foundation for your 2017 through a covenant to live this year in the love of God.