Each Monday we publish Sunday's Coming, an email-only post on the upcoming readings, written by our current Living by the Word columnist.
Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14
1 Peter 2:2–10
The recipients of 1 Peter lived far off the grid of Roman power. A people with no social standing, they were deemed unworthy of defending. And yet it is to these people that the letter proclaims lofty praise.
Gordon Cosby's final sermon
As Gordon was dying, he shared with me his thoughts for a "final sermon"—the words he said he should have preached again and again.
A reflection on loneliness
It's happened at weddings, at parties and in worship. I'm with great people, but I can't seem to connect—and a wall descends between us.
Inmates as apostles
Gangs excel at finding the lost, adopting them and sending them out. Therefore, gang youth can be recruited for apostolic ministry.
Saul, you thug who once draggedbelievers through the streets,flinging them from their beds so hardtheir arms popped from their sockets,how like a dying child you look,your stomach caved in from fasting,lips blistered with fevered prayer.You reach into the darkness, tremblingfrom the exhaustion of relivingthe scene: The light shot out of the sky—no, it flared from the stones—no,Jesus, your hair was on fire—God spoke to me, too, which is whyI stand at your bedside now and beseechthe Spirit to enter. He loves to appearin the lonely, dank rooms of the faithful:Noah, Mary, Abraham, all sweating outtheir dreams of God. You will learnhow hard belief can be. You will singwhile the guards whip you to the bone,touch an enemy’s shoulder with gracewhile the avenging knife burns at your hip.One day you will wish for your sickbed again,this woolen blanket of blindness.But I do as I am told. I lay my fingertipson your lids, and your eyes rumblelike stones rolling from the grave. Your lidscreak open, and the light burns through.This healing is not easy. Something silveris falling from your eyes. Brother, somethinglike the scales of a struggling fishis scattering at my feet.
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.
Support us by buying books: