I arranged for a "plant" in the worship service. The man came in, obviously having seen better days, not smelling exactly like everyone else, unshaven and a bit scary looking compared to the upper middle-class congregation. A couple of people did speak to him and one even invited him to join them for lunch at the restaurant. The next week, I told the congregation about the man. He was the husband of one of my wife's friends and was not homeless, dirty, or scary. I wanted to see how people would react to him and I was pleased that a few had reached out to offer help.
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.