John Newton, the writer of the favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace," was the son of a devout mother and a rough, sea-going father. His mother tried to give him a religious upbringing, against the backdrop of a warm, supportive family, but she died before he was a young man. After her death, he went to sea with his father, hoping to find a similarly warm relationship with him. That was not his father's way, however, and John quickly learned the rough ways of sailors. He took a job on a slaver, not much caring for its cargo, but liked the pay he received.
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.