Do you remember your baptism? It is an invitation and a claim on your identity. Recall Jesus’ baptism, and remember your own.
Who were the Magi? And what’s their importance in the Biblical story? Perhaps with a Hallmark picture in mind, we place too much importance on the details, and don’t focus enough on the child they came to see.
The Grinch, like the shepherds, is considered an outcast – a dark soul. Yet, it is into such darkness that God sends the great light of the child, Jesus. When such a great light shines in the dark of each of our lives, and the darkness of our shared lives, humanity is offered the healing of shalom, in which we all unite as one great body praising the love of God in Christ.
The Grinch saw the Whos down in Who-Ville decorating, singing, and cooking, but thought their merriment was a sham. Perhaps we should question our own nonsensical over-indulgence in the season.
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.
For St. Francis of Assisi, the way of poverty wasn’t about living with nothing, it was about living without any allegiance due to money. It was about serving God, only.
Christ seems to suggest we should be cannibalistic vampires – eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood. To be faithful to the historical practice of the Eucharist, we’re making the theological more tangible.
Jesus doesn’t sugar coat the call to faithfulness. He really expects us to sell our possessions and give the money to the poor. What does this mean for faithful disciples today?
To be faithful to our call as a church community, it takes being engaged disciples. You don’t have to be perfect, highly educated, wealthy, or beautiful – you just have to be willing to respond, knowing Christ goes with you.
We have all been given great gifts that God desires to be used to offer a welcoming presence whereby all can come to know the love of God. How are you using the gifts you have been given to welcome others?