Sent Among Wolves
Last night my wife and I went to a couple’s costume party. Although I had a wonderful time, at this point I my life I’m just going to admit that I’m not a big fan of such affairs. I like parties. It’s the costumes that bother me.
But the truth is, I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I want to get to know a person as they are, not who they pretend to be. I mean, don’t we wear enough disguises already?
I’m tired of the masks people hide behind. They’re no different than the walls we put around ourselves that keep people from getting to know who we really are. And on top of that, I feel like we’ve grown more accustomed to tricking people than treating them.
Call me an idealist, but I believe we don’t have to live like that. Nowhere in the bible does Jesus tell us to put on a disguise or to hide who we really are. In fact, Jesus said the opposite.
As we will see in our reading for today, Jesus sends his disciples out into the world with nothing more than the gospel to cover them. He sends them out, in Anamesa, to go door-to-door, not to get more Snickers and Smarties, but to proclaim something sweeter than candy. Before we go there, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to be with us in our time together.
READ: Matthew 10:5-20
This year marks the first time we will be without our kids on Halloween. Each one of our children has decided to go trick or treating on their own with their friends. I know they’re old enough, and hopefully smart enough, to manage without parental supervision, but it still seems odd to send them out there, like sheep without a shepherd to watch over them.
If Jesus is who the bible makes him out to be, I’m sure he had some reservations about sending his disciples out for the first time. Though he specifically sent them into Jewish communities, Jesus did so knowing how vulnerable they’d be; “like sheep in the midst of wolves.”
This isn’t the first time Jesus said something like this. Earlier in Matthew’s gospel he told his disciples to “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:12). In both instances Jesus warns us that people aren’t always who they appear to be. I guess, costumes and disguises aren’t only brought out for Halloween.
For the Twelve to be successful on this quick mission trip, they must, according to Jesus, combine the wisdom of a serpent with the harmlessness of a dove. This seems like an unlikely duo. Biblically speaking, the proverbial view of a serpent is “crafty” and “shrewd” like the one we meet in the Garden of Eden. Is Jesus telling us to be sneaky and deceiving?
The dove, on the other hand, was thought of as innocent and harmless, even today, they’re used as symbols of peace, while snakes are used as warning of danger. Maybe Jesus telling us to be peacemakers, even though he knows there’s real danger in doing so.
Sharing the gospel is risky business. Especially when you’re being asked to do it like Jesus did. To go out in the world without any disguises to hide behind. Jesus sends the Twelve without any money, shoes or other comforts. He wants them to take nothing but the love of God in their hearts. I’m sure you can imagine that requires one to be both skillful and kind.
Of course, the world, then as it is now, was purposefully hostile to Jesus’ message – no different than wolves who are intentional about the harm they inflict upon sheep. If we are going to follow Jesus, then we must do so purposefully to avoid becoming predatory ourselves.
To take the name Christians means we will shape our lives like Christ, with nothing more than the intention to only do God’s will. Somewhere along the way, I fear many of us have forgotten this. You don’t have to look beyond the front page to find someone who pretends to be one thing on the outside, while on the inside they’re nothing more than ravenous wolves.
Even in the church, there are those who say they love Jesus, but then go and hate their neighbor. That just won’t do. St John the Apostle reminds us, “Whoever says they love God and hates their brother or sister is a liar. For those who do not love someone they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
There’s no place for such deception and disguise in God’s kingdom. If you say you follow Jesus than you have to be like him – walk his path, speak his words, live his love, practice his way…even if the world kills you for doing so.
The Bible is very clear about one thing. Jesus is who he says he is. He practices what he preaches, lives out what he teaches. He doesn’t hide behind the law, but willingly exposes his vulnerability through his compassion.
Jesus is wise like a snake who avoided being caught in the many traps his enemies laid for him (Mark 8:11; 10:2; 12:13). And he was also as innocent as a dove, constantly inviting his enemies to find fault in him (John 8:46; 18:23). Three times, Pilate failed to find any deficiency in his character (John 18:38; 19:4, 6).
Jesus is our mirror. Like him, we too must balance between being a dove and a serpent, because the world is going to try its hardest to tear us down. We must strive to be gentle without being pushovers, and kind without being taken advantage of.
Like St. Peter wrote to the churches, we need to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they will still see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12).
This is a good reminder for us, especially as we step into that sacred space of life and all its messiness. As we enter Anamesa, may we never lose sight of the truth that we are the one’s Jesus is sending to announce the good news to bring healing, reconciliation, and love to the world. What this will look like is anyone’s guess. All I know is that we must begin.
Now, I’m pretty sure those first Twelve were unsure about what to do. I’m positive they too were nervous and scared to step outside their close circle of friends knowing there were wolves waiting for them. Jesus knows the dangers that await us all. And yet he still sends us out there. He sends us because Jesus also knows the world is still hurting, grieving, and suffering.
But here’s the assurance we are given. Jesus sent the Twelve, like he sends us, with the power of the Holy Spirit by their side. For it’s not us, or our abilities, that bring God’s love into the world. It is the Spirit of God, the same Spirit that empowered Jesus to be wise and innocent.
With the Holy Spirit in us, we can drop the masks and leave our costumes at home. We can go out into the world wearing nothing more than God’s glory so that when people see us they only see love, mercy and grace welcoming them. We don’t need to take anything with us, outside a Christlike heart and a desire to do God’s will.
While it’s fun to dress up and pretend to be a zombie, or action figure or someone from Harry Potter, Jesus sends us, naked and vulnerable, into our own communities – our families, friendships, workplaces, and social groups – to bring the good news to those who hurting, searching, or suffering in pain.
Jesus is sending us, into Anamesa, to face the wolves of fear, rage, racism, and resentment, which we tend to wear to hide our hopelessness, despair, emptiness, and pain. Jesus sends us out to name those things and heal them.
We are his people, his sacred body, entrusted with his crucified heart and hands to lift one another up, to bear one another’s pain, and redeem everyone back to God’s loving and open arms.
As you leave here today, I invite you to leave your costumes and masks as well. God has no use for them. But God has a use for you. I also challenge you to be bold in your faith, believing that through Christ Jesus, God has already blessed you and prepared and empowered you to enter into any and every space proclaiming the good news, “The Kingdom of God has come near.”
The time has come also for us to shake the dust off our feet and go – wise as serpents and innocent as doves – to share God’s love in the world by being nothing more than God’s love for all.
Let us pray:
It's Everyone's Job
It’s Everyone’s Job Hebrews 4:14-5:10
October 17, 2021
This week I’m visiting San Diego State University, where my daughter and 33,000 other students attend school. Each one hoping to find their place in the world. Be it engineering, applied sciences, or global business, whatever they are looking for the school’s website boasts this is the place to power your dreams.
When I graduated from college, I never dreamt of going back. I had enough formal education for one life. But God had other dreams for me and empowered me to go to grad school. And well…here we are, ready to live, love and learn how to be like Jesus. Whether or not you went to college, if you follow Christ, you are his disciple. A student of his way.
At the end of the day, we are all students learning how to manage this world. And this life we are given is but one long lesson. But there always comes a time when the student is called to be the teacher, sharing whatever wisdom they’ve pick up along the way.
It might not come as a surprise that the one person in my life whose life lessons have been the most influential is Jesus of Nazareth. An unknown author, wrote this which speaks to one particular way Jesus moves us from student to teacher
READ Hebrews 4:14-16
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[a] as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
When I finally decided to give in to my call to ministry, my dad suggested I speak with my childhood pastor, Bob Walkup. I hadn’t spoken to him in years, but boy am I glad I called. Because Bob said something that has stuck with me ever since. In his soft-spoken southern voice, he said, “Ian, you’ve always been a minister.” It wasn’t until I was thinking about this passage, that I fully grasped what Bob meant.
Although this priestly description in Hebrews is about Jesus, it also speaks to who we are as his students, his disciples. More than students, we are called to teach others about God’s redeeming love. Which means we are all called to be ministers.
I bet that’s the last word you’d use to describe yourself. I hold a theology degree and ordination papers, and even I hesitate to call myself that because of the negative connotations attached to it. And lets honest, there are times when I barely understand my own faith muchless know how to manage others. I constantly wonder why God wants someone like me to teach the world about love, especially God’s love? Who am I? What do I know?
After decades of trying to figure it out, I’ve come to this conclusion: God uses our brokenness and failures to minister to the world. I mean that’s what God does; uses foolishness and weakness to humble the wise and strong. The cross and resurrection say it all.
How you’ve learned to deal with addiction, pain, grief, rejection, or any other challenge you’ve faced, all speak to God’s redemptive work on your life. It might not be the prettiest or happiest way to go about it, but every story you’ve ever written, God will use to tell a greater story. The redemption story of Christ Jesus, our High Priest.
Now, I used to hate the scar that cancer gave me. Most people don’t see it. But every time I looked in the mirror it just screamed at me - reminding and reprimanding me of my past. Then one day I was sitting with a person undergoing chemo. It was my first time meeting her, and instead of preaching a bunch of platitudes that might help her feel better, I showed her my scar. This ugly line was the bridge between us.
Because we shared a story, we quickly formed a close bond that allowed us to trust one another and minister to each other from our hearts and hurts. Now when I see this line across my neck, I no longer think about what I might have done to have caused it. Instead, I think of what God did to redeem it.
Whatever you’re experiencing, your story is a part of God’s great story. One we share with Jesus himself. By his own pain and suffering Jesus blessed our scars and ordained our stories. Misfits, addicts, saints, and sinners alike are all called to be ministers, preaching and teaching God’s great love to the world.
Sure, it might be my job to do the churchy things – like teaching Bible stuff and leading worship. But Jesus made it very clear that we all share the responsibility to pray for one another, forgive each other, and to care for the burdens of the least of these our brothers and sisters.
As disciples of Jesus, as students of Christ, our job in life is to continue his ministry – to teach the good news of God’s redemptive love in all the ways we love one another. I’m sure if you look at your own story, you will see how you have always been a minister whether you were trying or not.
A met a man who’s been helping a Vet deal with PTSD. He confessed he doesn’t really do much but listen and offers the guy a safe space to let it all out. Do you think this guy knew he was imitating Christ who heard the cries of people and showed sympathy towards them?
I’m part of an organization that helps people living with food insecurities. The folks who come don’t care if I’m a minister or not. But in each bag of groceries, each loaf of bread offered, God’s love and provision is proclaimed.
Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness are all we need to do to show the world just how big and inclusive God’s love really is.
Again, it’s not just my job to listen to or comfort others, it’s yours as well. We are all pastors called to offer hope. Each one of us a priest given the ability to sanctify any situation. Every one of us is a minister called to preach God’s love by being God’s love as Christ taught us to do.
The author of Hebrews describes Jesus as the Great High Priest. He is the one who is in charge of offering gifts and sacrifices to God on behalf of the people for their sins. Now, the literal meaning of the word “priest” is “bridge.” That is to say, Jesus is the bridge between God’s desire and our needs.
But if you know the gospel story, you know Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time in the temple with the official High Priest. Instead, he walked the dirty streets. And entered our messy homes to redeem us. He comes to where we are and blesses our stains and smells. And comforts our wounds and pain. This is his story; one he used to teach and empower us do the same.
Jesus is calling us to be ministers; to put on our clerical collar and open our pastoral heart and be that bridge between heaven and earth.
We don’t need to be perfect for God to use us. We don’t need to be straight A students or go to the best schools. We just need to be more like Jesus - obedient and faithful to our calling to the best of our ability. God will do the rest.
Wherever hunger or injustice is present, we too must be present. Wherever there are sick and dying people, or captives and prisoners we are called to share our story of God’s redemptive love right there in Anamesa – in that space between the messiness of faith and life; right in the middle of it all.
May we all go with the intention to be the bridge between earthly and Divine so all lives might find true healing and peace. And so, all people can thrive in their stories as God has always desired. May we all go out and testify to God’s greatest glory – teaching the world with your heart and hand, and like St. Francis added, “Using words only when necessary.”
Let us pray:
Lord Christ, help us today to be more like you and less like ourselves. As we walk in your footsteps, may your peace guide us and follow us so others can share in your glory. Amen.
Adapted from a sermon entitled You've Been Called on October 22, 2018.
Bartlett, David L., Barbara Brown Taylor, eds. Feasting on the Word: Year B, Vol. 4. Westminster John Knox: 2009.
God Is Here. And There.
I had a wonderful conversation with an old friend the other night, catching up after a long absence due to the pandemic.
I learned her daughter, who had been suffering with adolescent depression, had had an incredible turn around since going away to college. I wasn’t too surprised because I know her school is in northern California. And that it’s nestled in a majestic forest along the wild, rugged coastline.
Like me, my friend’s daughter has always been drawn to the outdoors and loves to discover and explore the hidden mysteries of the natural world. I’ve come to learn that there’s something magical, and even medicinal, among the flora and fauna. When I’m in nature I always feel grounded and closer to something greater than myself.
I call that something, God.
Seeing the world this way has helped me realize that God is always with me, which has come in handy when I’m feeling lost or alone. Before you accuse me of being some weird, new-age, hippy-dippy freak, let me remind you that the Bible provides many examples of God revealing God’s self to us in nature.
There’s the story of Adam and Eve hanging out with God in the garden. Moses meeting God in a burning bush. Elijah hearing God in the silence of the air. And of course, Jesus who frequently wondered off in nature to be alone with his heavenly Father.
But there’s also this psalm, where the poet looks at creation and draws this portrait of the Creator.
READ Psalm 104:1-9
Viewing the world as artistically as the writer of Psalm 104 does, anyone who loves God should want to nurture, protect, and love the earth as much as God does. Not only do we need it to sustain our life, and the life of future generations, but like Francis taught us nature is God’s greatest missionary.
The rain and wind and even mosquitos remind us of God’s goodness. Jesus tells us that it’s in the lilies of the field and the birds of the air we discover God’s faithfulness and provision (Mt. 6:28-30). He taught us that with every gust of wind we are reminded to live our lives trusting God’s Spirit (John 3:8). Even the Apostle Paul wrote that nature testifies to God’s existence, thus we have no excuse not to know God (Rom. 1:20).
As I learned from St. Francis, God is here. And there. And everywhere. Every living thing is a divine revelation that reveals God’s beauty, glory, power, wisdom, presence, and, most of all, God’s loving care for us. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to spend time in nature. I want to always be surrounded by God’s wondrous love.
A few years ago, I was on a silent retreat in Cleveland. Sitting in this little hidden nook tucked away in the forest, I sat still with my eyes closed listening to the leaves and birds singing. Before I realized, an hour had passed. When I opened my eyes, I saw three baby deer standing within arm’s reach of me. This divine trinity reminded me just how close God really is to us.
There’s a passage in the book of Job that says, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being (Job 12: 7-10).
From the smallest of insects to the vastness of the galaxies, creation proclaims the unspoken glory of God’s love for us. We are a part of creation, so what then is our testimony to God’s love?
If we say we love God, then our love of God’s creation must also be honored. Kathleen Bostrom writes, “A love for God’s creation is enhanced when we see the heavens and earth through the eyes of the Creator, who took the time to stop after every object created to declare, “This is good.” This is good. That is good. You are good. I am good.
Rats, moths, elephants and donkeys are all made good because of God’s great love. Once Francis realized this, he began to revere every living thing; often referring to the sun and moon and trees as “brother” and “sister.” Like Henri Nouwen put it, “Everything in creation belongs to the large family of God.”
When we pause to recognize this interconnectedness between nature and humanity, it’s hard not to stand in reverence with our souls lifted “in wonder and awe.”
In 2011, I took a life-changing trip to Tanzania. I spent ten days in the Serengeti, completely blown away discovering how animals are really no different than us. They played, napped, conversed, looked for food. I even saw an elephant discipline his child for pestering her little brother.
The world is full of God’s imagination and creativity. And we are a part of it. This really became clear to me there at night under a canopy of stars. With no artificial light to block the view, I was blown away by their brilliance. The sheer number rendered me speechless.
One night, and I’ll never forget this, I imaged myself diving into heaven, into a pool of shimmering and shining lights that were calling out to me. As I dove in and became one with that celestial body, I swear I heard God whisper in the wind, “This is good.”
I think this is what God wanted me to witness. Had my eyes not been open by the faith of St. Francis, I might have overlooked that Divine presence right there with me. I might not have learned what my worth is to God who made us out of stardust and declared us good.
That is why it is so important for us all to take the time to be in nature; to be present in creation and show gratitude to our Creator.
Whether it’s in a forest, or at the park, in the ocean, nature gives us endless opportunities to let your heart sing, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” To live life without taking notice of the world around you is to miss out on one of the most tangible and beautiful ways God speaks to us.
This is important to remember as we enter Anamesa, that sacred space in between heaven and earth. As we move, we must do so with intention, with our eyes on God whose is revealed in the faces of our brothers and sisters. Not just in puppies or trees but in the hungry, the tired, the sick, and the dying as well.
As we close that gap between us and them, may we do so willingly and tirelessly - like Jesus and Francis did – sharing the good news of God by being a place for God to be present for others. This is how we humans testify to God’s glory: by proclaiming it in all the ways we love one another, as God loves us.
Like I learned from St. Francis, wherever there is life, there also is God. And like I learned from Jesus, wherever God is, there is love.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t things in this world that won’t try to trip you or trap you. Although Jesus often retreated to the mountains and wilderness to be with God, it was also out there he was tempted to take his eyes off God and place his heart on the world.
Our world, with all its bright lights and glitter likes to promise us power and prestige if only we bow down and worship it. Some people are confused, placing their faith and even their worship on the things of the earth. Neither Jesus nor Francis worshipped creation. But both kept their devotion and loyalty to its Creator.
God reveals God’s self to us in the most amazing ways, not so we can make an idol or religion out of it but so we will always see God and set our hearts right within it.
It is my hope that you leave here today with your eyes and heart forever focused on the One who made them. The one whose providence and promises have been set since the beginning of all creation.
By looking at the world around us, by being present and alert, may we always receive God’s love and reflect it back into the world. Be it here and there and everywhere.
By our faith, we a part of Christ’s body. And by grace we are a part of God’s holy family. We are, and always have been, God’s beloved. Beautifully and perfectly made in the divine image of the One who whispers to us in the wind, “this is good.”
Bartlett, David L. and Barbara Brown Taylor, eds. Feasting on the Word, Year B Vol. 3. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009).
Nouwen, Henri. Bread For The Journey. (Convergent, 1997).
Beauty Is Within Us All
At first glance, the writer of this psalm sounds like an influencer whose life is too good to be true. Whoever it is, seems to have no problem tooting his or her own horn.
Imagine this as a post today. A beautiful selfie of a person bathed in Jerusalem’s famous golden light. The Temple in the background. Clear blue eyes looking towards the heavens with a dreamlike gaze. Underneath the caption simply reads “Integrity, unwavering trust and faithfulness.” It ends with the hashtag #perfectlyblessed.
I’ll admit, I wish I had this person’s bold confidence. The psalmist is so cocksure, almost begging God to be proven as anything less than perfect. But I know that those things which look perfect on the surface aren’t like that underneath the veneer. We all have blemishes that can’t be cropped or photoshopped out.
If we look beyond the filters and make-up we can see, interspersed among the bluster and bravado of this psalm, hints that reveal this person’s world is not so perfect. Just as a social influencer turns to the app for affirmation, this psalmist turns to God for approval; pleading “Redeem me and be gracious.” This person seems confident, but only to a point. Without God validating their thoughts and actions, their faith is unsteady. And unsteady faith can easily fall away into oblivion.
A good therapist might describe this as a codependent relationship in which one person’s worth is based on the approval of another. Influencers like Jessica have a codependent relationship with their followers. In this psalm, it seems like the poet believes his or her worth hinges on God’s grace. Is that really a bad thing?
The truth is, we all have limitations on how far we can go on our own. The shallow love the world has to offer eventually dries up. When our fifteen minutes of fame are over, the world moves on. That is not the case with God’s divine love. It never runs outs. But continues to overflow like a never ending spring. Thus the psalmist writes, “Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”
This is our reminder that our focus ought to be on God and not on how many likes or views we get. The difference between chasing after that little blue thumb of approval and God’s love is simple. The more I try to get you to like this post, the more Facebook changes the algorithm to keep this cycle going. But God’s love is steadfast, unwavering. It never changes. God is just as faithful and kind today as God has always been. And will always be.
We need to stop looking at others for direction and approval. Instead, let us keep our eyes on God like a sea captain looking to the stars for bearing. By keeping your gaze upon God, you set the bearings of your faith and heart to move in the right direction.
We might not be perfect, but God is constantly moving us towards divine perfection. But are we willing to follow God there?
The great Trappist monk Thomas Merton often prayed, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I’m going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.”
At the heart of this psalm is a desire to please God, and that, my friend, is enough to please God. As Kathleen Bostrom notes, “God seeks our affection and delights in our devotion.” You see, God isn’t asking us to be piously perfect. God knows our faults. More importantly, God knows our hearts – the very place God has etched a divine imprint in us all.
It’s that imprint that draws us together to God. To paraphrase Richard Rohr, “God can’t help but love us because God is always being drawn to God’s love in us.” We’re not so much dependent or reliant on God’s steadfast love as much as we are already a part of it. Our task, then, is to receive and reflect that divine image of God in the world.
To be like the psalmist who focuses on the unwavering kindness of God, and then builds a right life upon that foundation. When our focus is on God, then our hearts are moving in the right direction.
Now there’s one more thing I want to point out. Something that speaks to a problem that is infecting us all, and has used social media to spread it. The poet’s words are a warning to us not to put on a mask of righteousness - especially in some feeble attempt to please God, because it doesn’t work that way.
To boast, “I’m a saint compared those people over there” grossly undermines the good news of God’s redemptive love made manifest in Christ Jesus, who declared “the first will be last and the last will be the first” (Mt. 19:30).
The people this poet points out – the worthless, the hypocrites, and evil doers, people who take bribes – are the same kind of folks Jesus loved and cared for. People like you and me. Jesus said, “Do not judge others.” Instead “love them and forgive them as God has done for you.” We do not have the right, nor righteousness, to place ourselves above others. Only God does.
Just as we shouldn’t judge others, we shouldn’t judge ourselves by what others think of us. God is our only judge. And that’s good news. For it’s in God’s nature to be faithful. It’s in God’s nature to be merciful. Although it goes against one’s inclination to reward faithlessness with fairness and mercy, that’s exactly what God does.
Perhaps then, the better way to read this psalm is to picture God as the one penning the poem. For it is not I but God whose intentions and motivations are pure, honorable, upright. It is not I but God who continually and unwaveringly walks in integrity.
It’s not our goodness that saves us but only the goodness of God - a goodness made flesh in the Incarnate Christ, who I think it’s safe to say is still the greatest social influencer of all time.
If we are going to look to any one as a model of perfection, it’s the One who always seeks to offer us forgiveness, hope, and new life.
No matter what we want our life to look like, how perfect we pretend to be, we all have cracks and dings in our armor. We are not perfect people. But we are made perfect by Christ who loves us despite our imperfections.
As you leave here today, I challenge you to enter Anamesa reflecting Christ – meeting every opportunity with a desire to be the visible incarnation of God’s deep and abundant love.
Although we are all equally broken. We are all equally blessed. Though we all have faults and failures, we are all beloved children of God – forgiven not because of how the world sees our worth, but because God made us worthy.
Through Christ, God has washed our hands clean. And fashioned us together as one body, with one heart, and one mind.
Therefore, let us walk in our integrity by walking together with Christ in God’s integrity.
Let us be redeemed, because out of great love for us God in Christ has graciously redeemed us.
Let us walk on level ground because God, through Christ Jesus has straightened the path and leveled the playing field.
When the good news of the gospel is lived out in the way of Christ Jesus, the Kingdom of God is revealed in all its glory. And we become the great congregation that blesses and pleases the Lord, now and forever. Amen.
Bartlett, David L. and Barbara Brown Taylor. Feasting on the Word Year B Vol. 4. (Westminster John Knox: 2009) pp. 128-133.
Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. (Whitaker: 2016).
has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
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