The text is a proclamation of celebration by promising the return of the people of Israel from the captivity in Babylon. A new year is a chance for us to break with the oppressive patterns and behaviors in our past. Life is filled with a lot of dead ends, times when even good things turn bad. John Calvin once said it well: "For we know what our condition is in this world, for every hour, almost every moment, our joy is turned into sorrow and our laughter into tears" (Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. X/2, p. 84).
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.