In an increasingly polarised world, championing the radical love and mercy shown by Jesus is likely to bring hostility from all sides.
Both contemporary and ancient understandings of the rainbow sign point to God’s expansive love overcoming our fears and hostilities.
The transfiguration reminds us that in and through Jesus, the perfect Son of God and the perfect Son of Man, we each have the potential to experience and to be glimpses of God who is the true agent of change in our lives and in the world.
Following Jesus in ministering among the needs around us is not a call to do everything ourselves.
Jesus overcomes the demonic powers which colonise our religious structures and thinking and which rob us of our freedom, integrity and life.
The story of Jonah challenges us whenever we start thinking that we have special rights as God’s people.
In baptism, the Holy Spirit is ordaining us (all of us) for mission.
As we journey with and into God, we all prepare carefully, travel persistently, seek advice, approach the sacred with humility, and discern the way forward.
God reaches out to us through babies and elderly folks with a message of love and redemption that cuts through the theological justifications of empire and warmongering and calls us to peace.
The the birth of Jesus we see the beginning of a peace mission that is not based on force but on patience, forgiveness and presence.
Discovering who we are called to be is an ever-evolving journey as we follow Jesus in changing circumstances.
Though we are to strive for righteousness and justice now, what we achieve now is a mere shadow of what will be fulfilled in the day of the Lord.
The author of Hebrews is concerned that the first-century believers will become distracted and discouraged, so he wrote the letter of Hebrews to exhort and encourage them. This passage also speaks to us today and tells us an important message so that we can stay on course in our spiritual journey and finish the race of life that God has set for us.
Jesus calls us to a new world in which the lives of nations revolve around bringing the previously marginalised to the centre of our national way of being. Nations that fail to do that collapse into self-destruction.
While many have a passive-aggressive relationship with God, the gospel gives us a vision of God that liberates us to live freely, expansively and joyously.
Many parts of the Bible can be and often are weaponised as tools of oppression, but when we read it critically, with and through the teachings and example of Jesus, it calls us to liberation and life.
We we allow God’s word to work in us, it lifts the burden of oppressive teaching from us.
Living the beatitudes is tough and dangerous, and we will need the inspiration and company of the saints, before us and beside us, if we are going to make it.
If we keep imitating one another, paying back violence with vengeance, the world will be consumed in an escalating fury, but Jesus rescues us and gives us a life-giving example to follow.
Even in the midst of our worst troubles, uniting with God brings purpose and joy (which is not the same as mere happiness), and joy is an antidote to fear.