May 3, 2015
John 15:1-8
1 John 4:7-21
Acts 8:26-40


Of jungles and gardens
Easter 5

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Wayne Brouwer
After Margaret Mead, the world-renowned anthropologist, gave a presentation at a university, she hosted a time of questions and dialogue. One student asked her what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in any given culture.

This student, like most in the gathering, was expecting Ms. Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones. Her answer surprised them all. She said that the first sign of civilization was represented, in her mind, by a healed femur. The femur is the human thighbone. At the look of uncertain stares, Ms. Mead went on to explain.

In the law of the jungle, she said, broken femurs never get healed. When a person in the jungle suffers a broken leg, he is left to die. On his own, no one ever survives a broken leg long enough to have the bone heal. So, said Ms. Mead, where someone takes the time to protect the one who fell from further attacks, carefully binds up the wound, guards the safety of the one who cannot defend himself, brings food and medicine to the sick, and refuses to let the discouragement of pain lead to suicide ? this is where civilization starts.

Margaret Mead’s picture of the birth of civilization is very powerful. It reminds us of the portrait of the “Suffering Servant” in Isaiah, read by the Ethiopian eunuch in today’s lectionary passage. In a world of brutality and corruption, violence becomes the noxious air we breathe and the toxins we drink. But then, enter the Servant of God, says Isaiah. With faithfulness he brings protection and justice. Suddenly the law of the jungle no longer makes sense....

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Looking Ahead
May 10, 2015
Easter 6
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April 3, 2015
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April 2, 2015
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March 29, 2015
Palm/Passion Sunday
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March 22, 2015
Lent 5
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March 15, 2015
Lent 4
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Commentary
Writers



David Kalas


Wayne Brouwer


Sandra Herrmann


David Coffin


Mark Molldrem


Catherine Venkatesh


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Mark Ellingsen


Mark Molldrem


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Bob Ove


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Derl Keefer