Philemon alludes to the need to set slaves free. A similar message is found in the Magnificat in Luke, where it is announced that God is one who lifts up the lowly and brings freedom to the oppressed. Since legal slavery is no longer a part of our nation, those kinds of words do not shock us as they did those who first heard them. But there still are many places in our world where such freedom is a radical concept. For example, during a period of the 1980s the government of Guatemala banned the public reading of the Magnificat, deeming those words to be too subversive.
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.