“What do you mean, that’s not my father? Those are the hands that cared for me. Those are the arms that took me up and hugged me. Those are the lips that spoke to me; the eyes that searched for me; the chest on which I fell asleep, knowing I was safe in his care. Everything I have ever known of my father was through this body. Don’t tell me that’s not him.”
Simplicity isn’t easy. I used to think that “simple” and “easy” could always be used interchangeably, like when asked about a particular task that…
The texts for this sermon come from Psalm 23 and John 10:11-18. In the middle of the Easter season every year is what some…
There are times when the body, that is, the church, is out of sorts too. Fractured relationships, broken trust, as Paul alludes to in his letter to the contentious Corinthians, jealousy over not getting to be the part of the body you want to be, pride – all of these and more tend to dismember us, if not in actual people leaving the church, at least in a virtual distance even if we’re in the same space to worship or to learn or to break bread. There are times where you just don’t “feel like” it…like breaking bread with him or her or them. “Ugh! I have to share at the table with them?”
Why didn’t Jesus take up the sword? Why isn’t that the means by which to overcome evil? Walter Wink says something quite remarkable about Jesus’ point here: “Violent revolution fails because it is not revolutionary enough. It changes the rulers but not the rules, the ends but not the means.”
Jesus Christ, John says, is the true light who was coming to enlighten everyone in the world in the more direct and expansive way, like the sun.
The people of God were called to exude that more gracious and merciful identity and action all the time.
Friends, there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. You have never been and you will never be unloved.
When Wesley spoke of the possibility of perfection in love, he didn’t mean that we are capable of this on our own power or merit, but rather he meant to challenge anyone daring to say that God can’t do it in us.
This has led me to wrestle through the following notion – the times when the first two rules of Methodism – “do no harm” and “do good” seem to be at odds.