A visitor to Okinawa observed 71-year-old widow Shizu Arikaaki lay out bowls of soup, fish, rice, and other amenities on the family altar in her home. The sacrifices were for her husband, a son, and other relatives. She explained to the visitor, "We believe that our ancestral spirits really do come back to visit. We worship them," she added. But then she gave the visitor a wry smile before she admitted, "But nobody has ever died and come back to tell us what it's like, so we don't know for sure." Many religions in the world have a hope of a life hereafter.
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.