Each Monday we publish Sunday's Coming, an email-only post on the upcoming readings, written by our current Living by the Word columnist.
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
Living by covenant, not contract
Monastic vows sound familiar to anyone who's been to a wedding. In both marriage and celibacy, we promise to be faithful.
All of it: children whistling ryegrass,my husband rubbing my backin his sleep. Consider rubbish the sunclimbing the eye of Delicate Arch,the scent of popped-open coffee.Leave it behind, pleads the scourge-scarred Paul. Lay it down and rise.But even loss is hard to count as loss.This morning frost has leatheredthe nasturtium, but I cannot endureripping the haloes of leaves from their pot.The astilbe, once a lavender mistin my window, burns toward winter,seed heads trembling like the handsof an old charismatic. Maybe in heavenI will remember the March I buriedthose bare roots around the base of the oakand brooded about some sin or anotherholding me fast in the mud, springthe only unseen I could bear to believe.
How my faith was formed in the midst of betrayal
Our pastor had an affair and confessed it in his sermon. He stood up in front of the church and let the gathered members know that he had succumbed to temptation, but he was ready to just "move on."
Texts about "striving" make me itch. They bring to mind our
own cultural commitments to speak about lifting ourselves by our own bootstraps
to reach high goals.
Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
In this week’s epistle reading, Paul demonstrates that mix of humility
and pride that so definitively marks off his writing from any other
voice in the Bible.
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
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