“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. […] Continue Reading Second Sunday of Easter: The Gospel Passage – After-Resurrection Joy
Psalm 130 has long been the psalm I identify with most.
I resonate with the psalmist crying from the depth of the heart.
As one who served in the military, I have experienced the twice repeated phrase “more than those who watch for morning, more than those who watch for morning.”
I love the modern expression of the song by Sinead O’Connor.
But while this psalm is an old favorite, this week I have noticed something new.
In verse 7, Israel is invited to put its hope in the Lord, because with the Lord there is “steadfast love.” Steadfast love sounds good on its own: a love that is not conditional and doesn’t wax and wane like our love of a favorite song or restaurant.
But this is only the surface of it. The word translated steadfast love is the Hebrew word ‘hesed‘ which means ‘mutuality’.
It was including homeless people in on the creation and weekly leadership of Community of Hope that made it work.
Mutuality is at the core of the United Methodist Church’s focus area of ministry WITH the poor.
Mutuality is the secret sauce that makes Church and Community Development for All People a place of ever growing relationships and expanding programming. Within the Fresh Market and the Free Store, it is impossible to tell from racial or socioeconomic background who is provider and who is recipient.
Mutuality is more than a management concept to involve people from the bottom up in order to create diverse community. Mutuality is who God is.
God is in the cry from the depth of the heart. God is equally present in the broken heart of divorce as in the joyful heart of newborn parents. God is as much in the mud covered eyes of the blind, the leper, the addict, and the prostitute as God is in the faithful church goer.
When we are willing to put aside our ego and be vulnerable enough to share ourselves with others, the God of mutuality is moving. When we are humble enough to admit we don’t have all the answers and open our heart in prayer, the God of mutuality speaks. When we look at others asking what we can give instead of how we can receive, the God of mutuality provides.
I am often asked, what is the greatest asset of our community. Every time I respond by saying, relationships. It is in the mutuality of people who look out for each other and care for each other and support each other that the peaceable kingdom grows. The mutuality of God’s love is what forms us and shapes us and leads us forward.
We find God in serving the other, because the God of mutuality found us “out of the depths”; and, when we are willing to go down in the depths with others we find the God is mutuality is there.
Because I write a week ahead, I am actually writing this Easter day. And I confess, thoughts of Easter are swirling through my head. It is a nice swirling, but it makes it challenging to move forward in my thinking. The RCL seems to do the same, staying in the Easter mood for six Sundays until the ascension of the Lord is celebrated. It is interesting to consider psalms passage with the comforting awareness that we are praying to and petitioning a Lord who is rife with the power of the Resurrection. […] Continue Reading Second Sunday of Easter: The Psalm Passage – Moving forward from Easter Day
We often spend time interpreting Jesus death on the cross by analyzing Paul, John or the book of Hebrews. But we should spend time looking at what Jesus said about his death, understanding how he interpreted his death.
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“The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.”
Jesus looked around him and he saw masses of people who Continue Reading Jesus’ Death and Revolution
When United Airlines had a paying customer forcibly removed from a flight so one of its own crew members could fly in his place, the news and accompanying video went viral. How could a 69-year-old doctor returning from vacation end up bloodied and being dragged off the aircraft? […] Continue Reading Why Some Apologies Fall Flat
Second Sunday of Easter: The Substitute Old Testament Passage – Peter, another man after the Lord Jesus’ heart
[Beloved reader, sometimes an Epistle Passage is used instead of an Old Testament Passage on certain occasions and certain reasons. This week is such an occasion. Read it as if it were an Old Testament prophet, but testifying to a new reality. ] […] Continue Reading Second Sunday of Easter: The Substitute Old Testament Passage – Peter, another man after the Lord Jesus’ heart
Another Way for week of April 22, 2017 The Gift of Walking My daughter shared a wonderful image from her 14-month-old’s life recently as they walked to a nearby playground. It was the first time he’d been to the playground since he had started to walk; he is pretty solid but still falls occasionally. […] Continue Reading The Gift of Walking
I’m Giving Away a Stack of 7 Books! (R. Foster, B. MacHaffie, B. McLaren, R. Sider, J. Yoder, et al.)
I have a problem. I like used-book and thrift stores too much. I can’t help but grab stacks of books I think sound interesting. The problem is that I end up getting duplicates of titles I forgot I already had. [Read More…] Continue Reading I’m Giving Away a Stack of 7 Books! (R. Foster, B. MacHaffie, B. McLaren, R. Sider, J. Yoder, et al.)
This is complete madness. Nuclear war is, officially, back on the table. The US and Russia have been playing an intense nuclear game of tit for tat for months, well before the Trump disaster. Syria, NATO expansion, and the Ukraine have all upped the atomic ante. Continue Reading Nuclear Madness
The traditional view of God that is embraced by most—what is called “classical theology”—works from the assumption that God’s essential divine nature is atemporal, immutable, and impassible. The Church Fathers fought to articulate and defend the absolute distinction between the Creator and creation and they did this—in a variety of ways—by defining God’s eternal nature over-and-against the creation. Thus they embraced a conception of God’s being in his transcendent nature that contrasted with God’s accommodating activity with his people. God’s essential eternal nature was defined over-and-against God’s ultimate accommodation in the Incarnation and Crucifixion of Christ. […]
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