In our reading from Deuteronomy today, we hear: “18 The Lord enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing.” Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when we welcome strangers and foreigners, it is as if we are doing it to him. That is how much he loves them.
“Eat What is Good” Isaiah 55:1-5 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? […]
How Do We Become Peacemakers? Matthew 5:1-10 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will […]
When you hear the word blessed what do you think of? Health? Well-being? Maybe being well off financially? Being able to share what you have with others?
Sure all of those things sound really nice, but that is not what Jesus has in mind when he is preaching this particular sermon on the plain.
What is Our Mission? Luke 4:14-21 14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the […]
What is Your Dream? Acts 2:14-21 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, […]
We struggle with this idea of baptism and death going together, because we don’t think dying can be something positive. We don’t think dying can be a gift. But there are parts of us, and powers alive in this world, that need to die. That must die, if we are ever to fully know love and grace and community and freedom.
Our Psalm for today is a challenging one. It is a reality check for us, following the great comfort and hope and good news of Christ’s birth. It is a reminder that God has come into our world, but not any God, not a God of our own choosing or making. But the God of justice, the God of the poor and oppressed, the God who chooses the forgotten. And it is a reminder that God calls and challenges us to do the same, in every part of our lives, in every part of our world.
John is reminding us today that Christmas is not just for those inside of churches today. It is not just for those who sing the loudest to Christmas songs or wear the brightest Christmas sweaters or put out the most Christmas lights. It’s not just for the cheery people who seem to have everything going well. Christmas is for snakes. It is for those who have been left out. Those who others call scary. Those who think they have made too big of mistakes that no one can forgive.