We may think of the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness not only as a parable of God's protection, but also as a reminder that God's love extends to all people. Hagar and Ishmael, rejected by Abraham and Sarah, tossed away like last year's fashions, are not forgotten by God. It is only a small story, but it is a story that demonstrates a truth about God that we forget all too often. God does not belong to our family alone, our clan alone, our people alone, our nation alone, our race alone, or even our faith alone. God is bigger and better than that.
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.