The celebration of Christmas is not just about the hope and promise that the world will be made whole. It’s not just about God coming so “everyone else” can receive new life. Christmas is about acknowledging the brokenness in your own life, and the promise of God in Christ to make you whole, to give you hope, to give you new life.
“We’ve always done it that way” is one of the least faithful responses to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit gifts us for far greater freedom than being slaves to our past. There is a more faithful way.
Jesus demonstrates for us an alternative approach to engaging with those in our mission fields. He doesn’t just say God’s love is available for “whosoever,” Jesus demonstrates what it means to offer that love to “whosoever.”
Paul helped structure the early church to live into God’s desire for the Church. Only, hierarchy and power perverted that design. Building up bigger buildings for ourselves, the church in America looks very little like what Paul envisioned. To reclaim that vision is challenging, but it’s necessary work to become who God has created us to be.
The gifting of the Spirit at Pentecost gives us the rawest and truest glimpse of God’s desire for the church: to be the living witness and testimony to the goodness of God in the world. Everything else the church does should be to better serve this purpose.
It’s hard to image a world with no war, no competition, no division, and no sorrow. For us, it might even be unimaginable. But, this is exactly the body God has created in Christ. This is exactly the body empowered by God with the Spirit. This is the beauty of humanity formed by God in creation.
Tabitha’s resurgent life is no more for herself that Peter’s resurgent faith is for himself. Peter’s gift of faith brings about new life in Tabitha, which in turn brings about new life and new faith in the community.
In the midst of our worst seasons of life, we will find a resurgence of life when we slow down and gather with one another in the presence of the Risen Christ. Slow down, and share some grilled salmon by the fire pit.
Mary McLeod Bethune had a dream of getting rid of the differences that divide us, a vision that was centered in God’s authority for the beloved creation. Stewardship is about responding to such a vision with the gifts and resources God has placed in our lives, to ensure every person knows the great love of God in Jesus Christ.
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man …” or was he? Sometimes it helps to revisit the Biblical text to claim the truth of God’s Holy Word. This story may not be about repentance; perhaps it’s about revelation.