In 1637, Eilenburg, Saxony, was surrounded by the dark night of the soul. Europe was at war. Eilenburg was tossed back and forth by the armies. Three times during that year it was attacked and severely damaged. When the armies left, refugees poured in by the thousands. Diseases ran rampant. Food was scarce.
There was only one pastor in the city, a fellow named Martin Rinkart. His journal for 1637 indicates that he conducted over 4,500 funerals that year, sometimes as many as 40 or 50 a day. Life was a constant death, and each morning stank of disaster.
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.