Naaman's servants' question cuts and burns.
Monday lectionary email, archived here on Friday.
I should have known better. Grandma had nine decades under her belt of doing things her way.
Other people have the things I want, and they seem fine.
The Gospels show Jesus as prophet, teacher, and miracle worker. But most intriguingly, they depict him as a storyteller--one who could not only draw a crowd but keep it riveted.
I have no idea what it would mean to be a shepherd, let alone someone who would abandon 99 sheep to go looking for a single stray.
There had to be something more to Jesus.
We see. We taste. We touch. We smell. We hear. To be human is to move through time and space guided by our senses. Reading this passage from Luke, I think about the sensory onslaught that defines my existence.
Jesus points out ways in which the line has already been dissolved.
"What has straw in common with wheat?" A lot, on the surface.
Famously, Obama's term was originally premised on hope. Just as famously, his own faith has been mocked and doubted. I wonder how much of each he has left?
Fun fact: when Paul tells his readers in Colossae to "put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry)," it's an example of a common ancient rhetorical device called a "vice list." (This is not actually fun, but bear with me.)
If anyone can wax poetic about the power of a clean slate, it's Paul. In his mystical meanderings on the human body's relationship to the body of Christ, he doesn't ground his hope in the things that humans do (or don't do) in response to tradition, social pressure, or threats. He grounds it in the inclusive finality of Jesus Christ himself.
At first read, this Sunday's Colossians text landed for me with a bit of a thud between the rich narrative images of Genesis and Luke. But the text engages the themes of calling and vocation in important ways.
Deuteronomy is a book of words, a book of preaching and exhortation offered as the word of God. It is made up of words given by leaders to the people before they are to form a new nation, establish homes, plant vineyards, dig wells.
Much is made in our time of creativity, imagination, and vision. Some lament that we have lost these qualities as a civilization; others search and find pockets of each like a light in the dark night.