In Chungking, China, in November 1950, Methodist missionary, Francis Olin Stockwell,
was sitting down to his evening meal when the Red China police arrived. He kissed his
wife good-bye. He then picked up his New Testament and left for what he thought would
be about five days in jail. It lasted almost two years.
He had almost no privileges, but he was allowed to write letters. He knew the letters
would be read and censored by the Red guards, so he wrote only things he knew they
would allow. He always added one word after his signature, "Immanuel," which was left
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.