J. Philip Wogaman, a professor of ethics and the former dean of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC, began the first day of my class with this question: "What is the central theme of the Bible?" He heard from the students the expected responses of love, forgiveness, and salvation. I am sure you could name the continuing list of replies. The one answer he did not receive was the word "hope." The professor then lectured that hope is the central message of the scriptures. Hope is the message of the Resurrection. It is the message that there is always a new day in the morning.
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.