Suffering Christians everywhere rejoice in the belief that God's promise to the Israelites of a new Jerusalem in Isaiah 65 is a promise to all believers everywhere that righteousness will eventually triumph and sincere faith will be rewarded. During the reign of Mary I (called "Bloody Mary" because of the more than 300 people burned at the stake under her leadership), a church bishop was sentenced to die at the stake because of his opposition to her fanatical and terrible reign. In his dungeon cell at Gloucester, a visiting friend attempted to persuade him to recant and plead for mercy.
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.