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.
Monday lectionary email, archived here on Friday.
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.
The invitation follow me is a common refrain in the ministry of Jesus. In our Gospel text for this week, the call to follow is intensified. Jesus has now “set his face toward Jerusalem,” and his response to someone who wants to follow him is an extreme one.
Transformation often has a price. There is a cost to freedom, even freedom from demons.
Growing up it was in the kitchen every Sunday where I would witness the most frenetic, clamorous work of our church community.
This election season, we've seen a lot of hatred and inhospitality directed toward Muslims and toward migrants. There is talk of building walls instead of bridges, a focus on fueling the politics of fear instead of concern for human need. In 1 Kings 8 we see an alternative.
The Gospel of John addresses a community facing trouble because of its faith in Jesus. Its original readers needed to hear a message of affirmation. No wonder Jesus says "I will not leave you orphaned" and promises the disciples peace.