Christmas Day: Carols are sung, scripture read, presents opened -- presents we give to
mark the supreme gift of Jesus. A gift is a free transfer of a possession from one person to
another. Something that belonged to me I grant to you. If you pay me for it, it's not a gift.
If it obligates you to me, it's not a gift.
This is the meaning of Jesus' life. Paul expresses it here in a number of ways: goodness,
loving-kindness, mercy, and grace. He piles up words to express God's unprompted,
unpaid-for actions toward us. Christ is a gift from beginning to end -- from his birth in
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.