The people of Israel were hearing the Word of God for what seemed like the first time. After the ruin of Jerusalem and their devastating exile in Babylon, they needed to hear it anew. First they hear Law, the ways in which they had fallen short of the covenant God had made with them. But Ezra and Nehemiah make it clear that the Word of God is one of new joy and hope for the people. Instead of weeping and sadness, the people hear the real Word of God: "The joy of the Lord is your strength." This word transforms lives.
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.