The first beatitude, “blessed are the poor” in Luke’s gospel, reads “blessed are the poor in spirit” in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus is not telling people to be poor, or poor in spirit so they can gain the kingdom of heaven. He’s making an announcement — God is for the poor. The question for the church is — who are we for?
This Sunday, Linda and I are going to conclude our series, Disruption: Parables for the Pandemic, with a special look at where we’ve been and what these parables offer, as the next steps on the path of Shalom, in a time of systemic dysfunction and pandemic anxiety.
How do we become aware of God’s healing Presence? That is exactly what we will be exploring in the new “Practicing Prayerful Presence” prayer groups meeting every week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 am. Join me in this process of experiencing God’s grace in the rhythm of our lives.
If you were to ask someone to name a parable or two, I am sure that the Parable of the Prodigal Son would be near the top of the list of favorites. Some have said it’s the world’s greatest short story. But more than that, it is our story — in particular, it is our story in relationship with God. I look forward to our worship on Sunday when I will share some insights from this beloved parable.
This is an unusually difficult, “liminal time” in our world’s history. The journey through this will not be easy. And it will be a long trek. We will need to do a lot of soul-searching and soul-care in the moments along the way. You and your soul are invited to join me and others on this journey for “Practicing Prayerful Presence,” any or every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 am.
This Sunday, I want to think with you about the crazy, fascinating, unbelievably huge reality of the systems we live in and the way we relate to, sustain, or change them. Once we’re willing to take a hard, clear look at them, we may discover the incredibly transformative and healing potential of small, intentional acts of humility, courage, and connection.
In Sunday’s Gathering we will proclaim the Good News of Jesus and the power of Christ – working in and through us – to overcome the sins of racism and injustice. Please take the time to read these two powerful testimonies. May God’s Kingdom come, may God’s will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.