“One piece of teaching that’s sometimes given to preachers – at least progressive preachers – is that we are called to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” That certainly seems to be what Jesus is doing here. If you’re poor or hungry or sad or excluded, don’t worry – everything will be fine someday. But if everything seems to be going well for you today, watch out, bad times are coming.”
“It’s not about doing it perfectly. It’s not about singing with a fancy voice or preaching with fancy words or helping others solve all of their problems. It’s about being present; fully present to each other as Christ is present to us.”
If we look for the signs, we’ll see that all signs point to God, all signs point to love, a love created by a Divine Creator who invites us to be co-creators; all signs point to a love lived out in every moment of Jesus’ life as he chose to stand with the oppressed and outcasts and chose self-sacrifice over revenge; all signs point to the love that surrounds us and lives within us as the Holy Spirit lifts us up and gives us the strength to have faith in God and faith in ourselves.
How were the Magi changed by meeting Jesus? How was Jesus’s life altered by meeting folks so different from him?
‘twas the Sunday after Christmas- the pews were all bare even though there was worship, almost no one was there. The pastor was wrapped in his stole and his robe and when asked “Isn’t Christmas over?” he simply quipped, “no.”
On December 24 1914, 19 year old Charles Brewer found himself in the last place anyone would want to be: knee-deep in the mud on a battlefield in Northern France. Five months into Great Britain’s entry into what is now known as World War I, the British Lieutenant sat in the seemingly endless rain, across a field from German soldiers. The war, likewise, seemed endless.
Hell hath no fury like a social justice oriented biblical snob. Maybe we’re a little touchy about some of this stuff.
“… most of you [are] good New Englanders… but I – a transplant from New York City – must confess to committing a sin almost on par to being a Yankees fan (which I’m not)….”
Jesus as ruler and leader usurps the position of emperors and governors and religious leaders who would seek that authority for themselves. Throughout his ministry, Jesus has echoed the cries of the prophets illuminating the ways that power corrupts people. He’s tried and tried again to show that those in authority must be governed by justice, that they must take care of all of the people in their charge with a focus on those on the edges of society and those with less privilege – widows and orphans and workers and immigrants.
Jesus as king turns the system on its head and takes away the control that others have tried to hoard for themselves.
We often look to scripture to help guide us on our life’s journey. We read the ancient stories hoping to find the way to face our world today; seeking solutions to age-old problems. Praying that the answers will be clear