One of the best illustrations of freedom in Christ comes from the life of Zacchaeus. He was a slave to greed, taking more from the people in his tax collection responsibilities than was necessary to do his job properly. When he met Jesus, all that changed. He experienced a freedom of generosity that not just made amends for his greed, but did so four times over. Not only this, he downsized his opulence by giving half of his possessions to the poor. With Zacchaeus' heart changed, a new relationship (covenant) was established and his future unfolded with a newfound freedom.
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.