John the baptist assured the people who came to him in the wilderness seeking God, that God was coming to be with them in the midst of their wilderness. He urged them to prepare for God’s coming. “Repent, for the kingdom of God has come near.” Repentance doesn’t just mean remorse: repentance, metanoia, means turning to follow a new way. John urges us to be prepared to see new life coming out of places that seem hopeless, to see God with us there; to turn, and to follow.
Image credit: Steve Snodgrass. License Type: CC BY 2.0
When it feels like the world is unraveling, Jesus hears our fear and uncertainty, and urges: do not be overwhelmed by the darkness, but witness to the light that shines in the darkness. Open your eyes to the suffering, fear, and pain around you, even if it is not your own, and do not turn away. Open your eyes to see God’s will for the world, see that the way things are is not the way things are meant to be, but see also God’s power for healing, still at work in our world.
Image credit: Toni Blay. License: CC BY 2.0
“I understand [the trinity] most clearly when I remember the time before it all became official, when it was just people telling about their experiences of God in the best way they knew how… When we affirm god as three in one, we declare that we see god in all of these ways, and we also declare that god is not contained in just one of them. God is all of these things and much more. God is beyond what we can speak, beyond what we can calculate in a math equation.”
Romans 5:1 – 5
John 16:12 – 15
Message recorded on Sunday May 22, 2016
We aren’t too good with vulnerability. When we choose leaders, we look for those who promise power and might. But instead, on this Christ the King Sunday, we get a God who is incredibly vulnerable; who hangs on the cross and will not save himself. And in so doing, invites us into our own vulnerability as a source of life.
Luke 23: 33-43
Daniel’s dream could be something right out of an epic fantasy novel: Four beasts come out of the water to wreck havoc and there’s no telling what will happen. Whatever it is, it won’t be good.
Which is how many of us feel about this election. Pastor Kate explores the election, what beasts may be in our world, and what God’s up to in the midst of all that.
When Jesus tells a parable about two men praying, one a Pharisee who does everything right and the other a tax collector who recognizes his own faults yet asks for God’s mercy, it’s tempting to side with the tax collector. Especially since Jesus ends the parable in a way that basically states we must be humble.
But what if it’s a trap?
Perhaps there’s more to the story.
Jacob wrestles all night with a holy presence. He cannot win, but he will not let his opponent go until he gives Jacob his blessing.
A widow brings a case of injustice to the attention of a judge who neither fears God nor respects the people he is supposed to serve. But the widow refuses to let go, and returns to the court day after day seeking justice.
Mother Teresa experienced years of feeling that God was absent from her, yet through those years she continued to pour herself out in love for the poorest and most vulnerable people in Calcutta, India.
In times of anxiety, in the face of injustice, and grief, what does faith look like? What does faith look like in your life?
Genesis 32: 22-31
God often speaks through people on the margins.
Are we listening?
Do we have eyes to see the Kingdom of God among us?
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Artist: Niels Larsen Stevns
Helbredelsen af den spedalske (Healing of the Leper)
Source: Wikimedia Commons
When we pray, God promises to respond with God’s presence, whatever the outcome of the situation we are facing in this imperfect, broken world. Very often, we are the presence of God for one another.