When we fear for our own safety, we condone the violence that promises to protect us, and we use religion to justify it, but Jesus wants to free us to rise above the fear without resorting to hatred and violence.
When we offer hospitality to, and accept hospitality from, anyone who comes – every sinner, wretch, reprobate, and wicked woman – we will encounter Christ and experience forgiveness.
Sometimes God has to kill off our hopes and destroy our faith structures in order to create space for new life and truth to arise among us.
The gospel of love and grace revealed by Jesus is always at risk of being distorted into a false gospel of ‘holy’ hostility.
The self-giving love of the Trinity, contrasted with the experience of a toxic love triangle, calls us to a new non-possessive love that always seeks the glory and delight of the other.
God’s Holy Spirit gathers us into one body where our differences are not erased or downplayed, but boldly offered in love and service of one another.
The Revelation’s surprising image of the absence of church buildings in the fulfilled holy city is a helpful reminder that they have always been a risky concession and that their dangers need to be carefully avoided.
The love of God seeks us out, even when we least deserve it, and then calls us to love others similarly.
There is no more waiting; there is no more longing. The wait is over. Jesus is alive, and he lives in all those who hear his voice and follow him.
When we’re met by the living Christ, we’re not invited to simply change our opinions about some things in life, and go on as we have before. We’re called, we’re changed, we’re transformed from top to bottom, from the inside out. Life can never be the same again.
Doubts and questions, far from being a threat to faith in the risen Christ, are its normal starting point and constant companion.
The resurrection awaits us. It awaits us now as we live into our experience of the love of God, growing in us and through us. The resurrection awaits us too, that moment when life as we know it is no more, and we enter fully into the life and love of God.
Because of God’s abundance, God’s never-ending supply of extravagant and eternal generosity, we are raised out of death and into God’s life: a life of gratitude, of loving, of belonging, out of which flows a life of service and a burning desire to participate in God’s passionate concern for the world.
In Christ, God has made an agreement with us, offering us everything and demanding nothing, but if we offer nothing we will be at risk of squandering it all.
Our lives are gift: a gift from abundance, a gift to be shared, a gift given for the life of the world, a gift we can give away because we are confident that the eternal source of life, the God who promises healing and freedom, will always replenish us.
Jesus is heart-broken when we refuse his call to gather with him in a place of powerlessness, vulnerable to the hostility of a power-hungry world.
Whether we think of the devil as a personal being or as a metaphor, our call to put our trust in Jesus to strengthen our resistance to the temptation of expedient short-cuts is the same.
Jesus calls us in a new direction, full of strangers and dangers and turmoil and wonder. And in that vision of a new way, a new future leaping with silvery hope, we will find the courage to leave everything.
Jesus’s agenda, which we are called to follow, is about healing, liberating and gathering in the excluded, not purifying the community by excluding anyone.
It is as members of the body that you are given the gifts that are needed for this body to serve in this time and this place.