In an odd twist of humanity, we enjoy watching as other people fail. Perhaps this is why we focus on Peter’s sinking into the water. But we should not be so quick to watch his demise; he did after all walk on water. There’s a lot to be learned from Peter’s brief experience defying gravity, and we might be the more faithful for focusing on his success than his failure.
Too often, we try to claim that if one is to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, they must act, think, feel, look, and be like us. Yet, God’s will claims our limited knowledge is just that, limited. To be faithful to God’s will, we must be resilient in our humility, to acknowledge that God is definitive for justice, and that we must humble ourselves to receive God’s will as truth.
The natural response to naming one’s brokenness is grief. We mourn our inability to sustain and give ourselves life – both individually and corporately. But this is life giving. As Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn.”
Admittedly, our national climate is one that leaves much to be desired. We have lost all attempts at civility with one another. But God calls us to be better in community. Christ offers the necessary traits for such a change in the Sermon on the Mount.
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.
It’s not Christmas yet, but it seems everyone is already saying, “Merry Christmas!” Don’t skip the hard work of Advent while jumping to the merriment of Christmas without doing the hard work of preparation, so that come Christmas, you’ll be ready to join in the singing.
“Mary Did you Know” is a horrible song, which assumes that this pre-teen unwed pregnant female couldn’t have possible been intelligent enough to know about the child she carried. But in her own words, Mary makes clear, she knows the goodness of God that will come from the baby boy, who will one day save the nations.
Max (the dog) and Joseph have a similar reaction to the invitation to be involved, a strong and resounding “no.” But when Immanuel, God with us, invades the messiness of our lives, our response quickly becomes one of faithfulness, not fear.