In today's reading, Peter says, "Who was I that I could hinder God?". That's an intriguing question.....do we hinder God's work? Do we get in the way of God's intentions for the world? To be honest, I think sometimes we do. Sometimes we let our agendas and our fears get in the way.
In Acts 11, God is trying to be more and more inclusive, welcoming more and more diverse peoples into the early church. The disciples aren't so sure that this is the way things should work. But Peter, the disciple who occasionally blurts out the wrong thing, has it right this time. Do you see parallels with today's world?
Bible reading: Acts 11: 1-18
In 10 years, what will you remember about this day? this year? this point in your life? Remembering is an odd thing, as we call to mind experiences from the past and examine them from various angles.
On Easter day, the women are at the tomb, but they're not sure what they're seeing and experiencing. The angels tell them to remember. When they do, their experience makes sense. What do they do next? Listen and find out...
Gospel reading: Luke 24:1-12
What does it mean to love one another? How do we begin to show love? Jesus gives us some clues as on this night, before he is arrested with the help of a disciple Judas, he washes the feet of his friends, his disciples.
Gospel reading: John 13:12-34
What does triumph look like? Winning the Olympics? Closing a multi-million dollar contract? Being the official marshal for the Tournament of Roses parade? Successfully completing a job? Dying?
Somehow, we probably don't think that dying is triumphant...or even something to celebrate. But for Jesus, it is. As he enters Jerusalem today, to the welcoming shouts of the crowd, many think that Jesus is at the top of his game, the pinnacle of his influence. But Jesus and God think differently--thank goodness! Why? Have a listen...
Gospel reading: Luke 19:28-40
Have you ever been lost? Have you ever had that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that says, "this is not right....I'm in the wrong place"?
During Lent, we've been thinking about God's heart, God's character. What does it mean that God is always seeking the lost, always welcoming them home, and celebrating their arrival? In this famous story, the father of two boys longs for the one who has been away to return. And when he does arrive home, there is much to celebrate!
Gospel reading: Luke 15:1-32
Has the promise of spring temperatures made you eager to do some outside yard work? Have you been pouring over seed catalogs or lingering near the flower display at Kroger's? If so, you might like this parable that Jesus tells about the patient gardener. This patient man has waited 3 years for a fig tree to produce some figs. The owner is anxious to put a new tree in this spot, but the gardener has hopes that maybe next year this tree will produce fruit.
Gospel reading: Luke 13:6-9
In Jesus' time, people sought protection in walled cities, built on hills to control the surrounding landscape. In today's world, walled cities are just a historical anachronism, but we often find ourselves in need of comfort and protection. When you've been in crisis or feeling overwhelmed, where do you turn for help?
Gospel reading: Luke 13:31-35
When push comes to shove, what or who do we rely on? Our selves? Our own strength? Our intelligence? Our connections? When tempted by the devil, Jesus limits himself and relies on God's strength to withstand the temptation. In doing so, Jesus shows us the depth of God's love for us...that we can and should trust in God when we are in the wilderness.
Gospel text: Luke 4:1-13