Bethel College is located on Chicago's west side. In the 1960s, as the neighborhood changed and white flight took its toll on the inner city, most thought that the church would have to close. Only a few members continued to drive in from their new homes in the suburbs to come to worship. Pastor Dave came with the idea that he would probably be the last pastor the congregation ever had. The week he arrived rioting broke out in the neighborhood. The situation looked bleak. His first Sunday, with the riots in full swing, many members refused to come in to the city for worship.
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.