Tag Archives: Peter

Today’s Wonder Workers

A Sermon for 12 May 2019 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 9:32-43. Listen for God’s word to us.

“Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda (Líd-dah). There he found a man named Aeneas (Ah-knéé-ass), who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

“Now in Joppa (Jáh-pah) there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.”

            This is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!


A few years back, God threw me a curve ball when I was introduced to the energetic therapy called Healing Touch. There I was in total pain prior to a much-needed shoulder repair surgery, when a compassionate sister at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama asked if I might be open to receiving Healing Touch. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I figured if she could do anything to relieve the horrible pain in my shoulder, I was game! Before I knew it, I found myself learning all I could about this incredible healing modality where something as simple as touch has been scientifically measured to have powerful effects. A key principle of Healing Touch that’s taught from the start is to “delete the need to understand” (2010 HTI Healing Touch Certificate Program Level 1 Student Workbook, p. 25). Now, as a highly educated reverend-doctor of the church, deleting the need to understand certainly has been humbling. Like how is it possible that through something as simple as gentle hand passes close to, or actual touches on a person’s physical body, the energetic system of a person can be tremendously affected? Pain can be reduced. Anxiety can be lessened. Long-held emotion can be released. Someone going through the most horrific physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual difficulty can experience healing. Does the practitioner of Healing Touch understand how? No. Not really, though the more one practices, the deeper insight one will gain. The mantra drilled into anyone learning about such healing work is: “Delete the need to understand!” (Ibid.). Do the work anyway! This foundational principle of Healing Touch reminds that “if we have to understand before we do the work, we never will do the work” (Ibid.).

It seems a fitting foundation in reference to the work of Christ as well – especially in light of these healing stories by Peter in the early days after the resurrection of Christ as recorded in Acts of the Apostles. In fact, I wonder if the Risen Christ said just that to his first disciples: “Delete the need to understand. Do the work anyway!” ‘Cuz how can anyone make sense of a paralyzed man, bedridden for eight years, hearing: “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” (Acts 9:34)? And immediately he gets up? . . . And what of Tabitha, also called Dorcas in Greek, meaning a gazelle. Which indeed she must have been to her community: a beautiful creature who lived lightly among the rest of the disciples! What an incredible woman, we hear of according to this brief record of her on her deathbed in Joppa. One commentator points out that the words used for the widows who gather to show Peter the fine garments sown for them by Tabitha, use “the middle voice of the participle showed (which) indicates that the widows actually are wearing the clothes made for them by Tabitha, who also distributed (the clothes) among the most needy of the community in keeping with the community’s principle of shared goods” (Feasting on the Word, Yr. C, Vol. 2, Robert W. Wall, p. 429). That same commentator concludes that “her loss is felt more severely then; and her resuscitation is desired more keenly, because of the community’s responsibility for its needy widows” (Ibid.). Maybe Tabitha once heard her Lord say, “Delete the need to understand. Do the work anyway!” So, she got busy giving her greatest gifts for the life of those all around.

How many of us really understand? Truly? Think about it. When you speak a word that you hope will be a comfort to a despairing friend, do you have any idea really what impact that word might make upon them? When you share some of what you have with someone else who is hungry, or thirsty, or so lonely they can hardly stand it; do you have any idea really what that act might do to sustain their body, or mind, or spirt just for one more day until they make it through their greatest struggle? Do you really understand one bit what your presence here and in the every-day-walk of your life means to those around you? How your words, and actions, and gestures of kindness might impact another’s life for good in ways not even they might be able yet to see? . . . No. We really don’t. And we don’t need to. That’s the beauty of God’s Way – the path of embodying the full love of God a little bit more each day. We do not need to understand it all just to get up one more day and commit our everything to living in the like manner of Christ. We can just do it; trusting that God will bring the outcome that is for the greatest good of all. We can release our desired outcome to the One who alone understands. We can be the healing presence of the Risen Christ everywhere we put down our feet on this earth!

It’s how God’s works of wonder continue around us today. Some biblical commentators of these healings in Acts of the Apostles want to make the distinction that such incredible healings were only possible by the earliest disciples because, God just had loosed a power “in the world in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit” (Ibid., Joseph Harvard, p. 426). And while that is true, it still is true that such power is at work in the world through those who yet embody the same love of God as shown in-full in Christ. Though our eyes may have grown dim to the sights, wonders still are worked all around us each day! God is acting now through us – to continue to bring new life in this world every day.

Tabitha found a way to use her gift of sewing so that not one widow in her community was found without clothes on their backs. Peter and the other apostles would tell stories far and wide of what they had witnessed and come to love in the One they followed to Jerusalem and beyond. What is it for you? What acts of love in this world fill your heart to overflowing and revive your spirit to face a new day? . . . If your heart wants to help children born into difficult circumstances get a chance to flourish in this world, maybe you could volunteer at H.G. Hill Middle School or at an afterschool program somewhere else. If being in the quiet of creation restores you, consider finding a way to invite others with you – especially those who are stressed to the brink in their life. If you don’t want anyone else ever to feel alone in a crisis, maybe you could ask to sit in the family waiting room at a hospital. If you love to write notes of encouragement, we have a weekly list in the bulletin of people of this church and beyond who need gracious expressions of care. God put each one of us here on this earth right now – to be about the works of wonder each of us alone is able to accomplish. You do not have to explain it to anyone else – not even to yourself. Just delete the need to understand, then do the work God has put you here to do! . . . It’s how God’s wonders continue today!

In the name of the life-giving Father, the life-redeeming Son, and the life-sustaining Spirit. Amen.

© Copyright JMN – 2019 (All rights reserved.)

Breakfast on the Beach*

A Sermon for 5 May 2019 – Third Sunday of Easter

A reading from the gospel of John 21:1-19. Listen for God’s word to us.

“After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And Peter said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me.’”

This is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!


Beaches are some of the most favored destinations in the world. To beaches people flock just to get away. Restore our souls. Relax with family and friends, or all on our own. What could be better than the warm sun on your shoulders? A gentle breeze on your face. The sound of the water lapping the shore as wave after wave races up the sand to tickle your toes. Lots of lessons are learned on beaches. Huge insights take place on beaches. Life-altering experiences happen on beaches. Ever feel lost and all alone? Head to the beach and let the sights, sounds, touch of Mother Nature revive as the Spirit of a mighty, gracious Creator wraps all around. Beaches. Beaches are marvelous spots!

It’s a funny little beach along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee that we hear of from the gospel of John this morning. Smooth, dark rocks cover the beach instead of the typical soft sand. The beach can’t be more than 100 feet wide – a little opening among tall grass along most of the shore of Galilee’s sea. Until a pilgrimage to the Holy Land a few years back, I had no idea it’s a hotly-sought spot named the Primacy of Peter. There, a simple little church building sits along the shore. Beautiful stained-glass windows that remind of dancing vibrant flames dot the sides of the basalt rock building. A massive limestone sits at the front of the chancel area then continues out the side of the chapel to face the sea. Mensa Christi a sign reads. Meaning: “the Table of Christ.” For here, on this very beach, it is believed the Risen Christ prepared a meal of fish and bread for his disciples.

Imagine the incredible scene on that beach – some two thousand years ago. Peter and a handful of other disciples: Thomas, Nathanael, Peter’s old fishing buddies James and John who were the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples, one of which was who the gospel of John calls Jesus’ beloved disciple; all head to the beach. It was early in the a.m. – before the light of day peeked out. Perfect time for fishing any real fisherman would proclaim. As the gospel of John tells it, this would be the morning Peter got his grand direction: feed my lambs. Tend my sheep. Feed by sheep, he’d be told. Follow me – no matter where the journey leads. Meanwhile, the little ban who had to be ready for a break after all they’d been through not just the last few weeks with Christ – but the past three years they literally had trekked all over the countryside with him. These seven disciples head back to the beach to what they know and love: fishing. Pushing out the boat. Letting down the nets. Hoping for a huge haul. Certainly, they’d say it wasn’t their lucky morning. Again and again the nets came up empty. Then, just about dawn, as the sun began to rise; someone’s standing on the beach. Shouting to try the nets on the other side of the boat. You know how when you’re really far from shore you squint to make out who it could be? The beloved disciple obviously had the best eyes and insight. For right after they pulled in overflowing nets, suddenly he exclaims: “It is the Lord!”

What I love best about this story is the way the Risen Christ has been busy building a beach bonfire. He wants to feed his friends! Scripture doesn’t tell us, but no doubt they’d gathered on the beach ‘round the fire before. Who knew Jesus was such a chef though, whipping up a delightful breakfast with just a few loaves and fish? Of course, according to the story, the disciples already knew what he could do with just a few loaves and a little fish. (Remember: the last time they saw him with fish and loaves, five thousand men plus women and children went home from a spot very close to this one, all filled up and with leftovers saved for later.) This breakfast on the beach wasn’t the first time he’d fed hungry folks. It is the first meal the gospel of John records that they shared together again after that Last Supper the night before his death. Now, I know eating is just a part of it – a routine thing done several times a day by those fortunate enough to have easy access to food. But this is no ordinary meal! Breakfast on the beach with the Risen Christ is a very big deal. Breakfast on the beach prepared by the Risen Christ is Eucharist. Thanksgiving. A gift of the great feast!

It’s striking, don’t you think, that according to the gospel of John; the Risen Christ cooks up breakfast right before he gives the command to go feed others? He’s not about to send out his first disciples until they are all filled up. The act of taking, breaking, giving. It’s the crucial reminder of God in our midst. The Risen One offering us food to eat because he knows – maybe like those silly Snickers candy bar commercials – that we’re not quite like ourselves until first we’ve gotten something to eat. We cannot go forth into the world taking our lives, breaking open our hearts, giving of our time, talents, and treasures if we haven’t first had our sustenance. It’s why the Table of Christ is so important. Why we’re invited to it again and again. About this story in the last chapter of the gospel of John, one biblical commentator writes: “If you are going to fulfill the mission entrusted to you, you will need the Risen Christ . . . feeding you.” The good news is that “the Risen Christ . . . continues to supply the strength and nurture we need for our lives and work” (Feasting on the Word, Yr. C, Vol. 2, Thomas H. Troeger, p. 423).

Maybe it’s through time we take each morning all on our own. Re-reading our favorite scriptures. Listening to beloved sacred songs. Maybe in the quiet of the late night right before we lay ourselves down to sleep, we nourish ourselves through reviewing when God felt close the past twenty-four hours. When we experienced Christ-like compassion from another or knew the forgiveness of our LORD. Maybe the Risen Christ has fed us by coming extra close in the beauty of God’s intricate creation. The diversity of brothers and sisters of this world who inspire us with their generosity and encourage us through their love. Maybe the Risen Christ has filled us up with the peace of knowing that we are deeply cherished as we are – like Peter, the disciple who three times denied, then three times re-declared his love right there on that beach beside the sea. Maybe it is in the bread and the fruit of the vine around another Table of Christ that we eat our fill to find ourselves nurtured. Revived. Ready to go forth to serve again!

Be it on a beach somewhere that you absolutely love, or at this Table of Christ here; we need the food the Risen Christ prepares. For then and only then can we go forth to offer sustenance to others. Tending the vulnerable. Following our loving Lord. May we never neglect to let the Risen Christ feed us. Fill us up. Daily. Then from the blessing of times just like that beach breakfast, let us go back out to love and serve like Christ!

In the name of the Life-giving Father, the Life-redeeming Son, and the Life-sustaining Spirit, Amen.

© Copyright JMN – 2019 (All rights reserved.)

*NOTE TO READERS:  the pic at the top of this blog is from the celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in the outdoor chapel at the Primacy of Peter at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee in Israel.  Photo taken by JMN ~ March 2014.


“New Creations”

A Sermon for 6 March 2016 – 4th Sunday in Lent

A reading from the second epistle of Paul to the Christians in Corinth (from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21). Listen to this good news not only with those brothers from Jesus’ parable in mind. But also listen for the way God works in us all. . . . Listen:

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he (God) made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God.”

This is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

Last year on a trip to the monastery our retreat series heads to at the end of the month, I picked up a cute little icon in the bookstore gift shop. The icon features slender figures. A bit dark-skinned, with angled faces. One figure in the icon appears to be dressed differently than all the other figures who collectively appear through an opening in a wall with a majestic skyline in the background. Eleven sets of eyes peer at that figure who is dressed differently – in red that covers from head to toe this one who is the tallest figure in the icon. A finger is raised – as if in mid-sentence – and the eleven other figures look on at this one who obviously is talking. Interestingly, the figure at the lead of the pack is stern-faced and holding up a hand as if to indicate no. At the top of the icon, above the people, above that opening in that wall, a rainbow arcs over all. . . . The point of an icon is to tell the story in picture form – initially the form used to pass on the gospel in a world where few were able to read and write. Today, we have the privilege of knowing the names of icons, in case our eyes can’t read the truth the icon creator intended when they wrote the picture. By the way, icons are written, not drawn, though all they typically are is a scene of something in our faith. It’s an elaborate, deliberate process to proclaim a very intentional message. . . . And can you guess the message of this little icon? The eleven in the opening of the wall would be: the Risen Christ’s disciples. The rainbow tells us it’s the advent of a special new day – all creation knows it. The tallest figure in red outside the wall to whom every eye instantly is drawn is Mary Magdalene. The sentence she’s obviously in the middle of saying is: He is risen! Christ is risen indeed! On the back, the icon is entitled: Mary Magdalene Announces the Resurrection.

I’m not sure we think enough about those first disciples during the season of Lent. That is until the dramatic events of the Last Supper where Christ washed the feet of them all and gave the command that they love one another as he loves us. But what about Mary Magdalene and all the others a few weeks prior to that fateful night? Three Sundays before Easter, where were they and how had their lives already been changed?

History hasn’t always been pretty to this Mary of the New Testament who is believed to be from Magdala – so, often referred to by us, as Mary Magdalene. The gospel of Luke is the only gospel to make mention of Mary Magdalene before we get to the events of Holy Week and Easter morning. Luke alone states in chapter 8, verse one: “Jesus went on through cities and villages bringing good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evils spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources” (Luke 8:1b-3). As Mary is the first person named in Luke chapter 8, and as this portion of scripture directly follows the time when Jesus forgave, at the home of a Pharisee, a woman of the city who was named a sinner – though the text never says what her sins were; somehow a Sixth Century Pope took all that, mushed it together, didn’t quite read the text closely enough, and labeled Mary Magdalene – well, you know what they call women of the city who are sinners (prostitutes). . . . For whatever reason, Pope St. Gregory the Great started telling a particular tale of her that ended up sticking pretty well (The Wisdom Jesus, Cynthia Bourgeault, 2008, p. 81). No evidence exists – even in the New Testament writings to draw such racy conclusions about what kind of a woman Mary Magdalene was. If we trust the writer of the gospel of Luke’s account of Mary Magdalene, then we know her as one who presumably Jesus has healed of whatever spirits held her captive – the text doesn’t even make those details very clear. What all four of the gospels do consistently tell us of Mary Magdalene, and her alone, is that she is the only one with Jesus through every step of the crucifixion, burial, empty tomb, and, as my icon accurately tells of the gospel’s record: Mary Magdalene not only is the first to whom the risen Christ appears, she is the first to go blurt out to all the rest who are hiding out in fear that she has seen the Lord! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The Nag Hammadi scrolls which were unearthed in the Egyptian desert in the 1940s include manuscripts believed to be written by Mary Magdalen herself – or at least recording her perspective of the trek with Jesus all over Palestine, to that last week in Jerusalem, and beyond (Ibid., p. 1, 22). The New Testament, in addition to these recently unearthed treasures, makes it clear that whatever Mary of Magdala saw in this Jesus called the Christ, whatever she experienced in her life because of him: from the first day meeting him on, her life never ever would be the same. She became a new creation. A sought after voice for believers in the early days after the resurrection, though the manuscripts that were unearthed in the 1940s tell of one or two run-ins with Jesus’ other follower Peter throughout the years their paths crossed. One author writes of that first encounter of the Risen Christ on Easter morn: that it is “a powerful moment of pure love” (Ibid., p. 85). In her distress from witnessing with her own eyes the entire Holy Week drama, Mary Magdalene goes and does what those who most love a dying person would do. She stays by his side every step of the way. Even weeping at an empty tomb, she demands to know where her beloved Lord’s body has been taken. When at last he speaks her name, and I quote again that same scholar: “she recognizes him and throws herself at his feet with an ecstatic cry . . . Easter Sunday begins with the energy of this encounter; it reverberates with two hearts reunited” (Ibid.). Nothing in her ever would be the same again.   She was a new creation.

They all were. What of Peter and James and John? What of little known to us Thomas, who I once was schooled about by a member of a church I served. She was a devote Christian woman from India who proudly explain to me that her family lineage traced all the way back to the Apostle Thomas himself, as is common in many of the Christians in the land to which Thomas took the good news just a few decades after Christ’s resurrection. If I was taught that in all my years of school, I hadn’t remembered the trajectory of Thomas’ mission outside of the Roman Empire all the way to India. When I did a little fact checking, I found it indeed to be so. If you’ve been to Italy, perhaps you’ve visited the chapel in his honor that contains relics from him that were found in India (www.gcatholic.org/churches/Italy/0164.htm). Or if you’ve been to India, perhaps you’ve visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas, were one of the three known tombs of Christ’s first apostles still exists – that of Thomas, of course. Peter’s being in Rome and the tomb of the Apostle James being in Spain (www.velankanni.in/stthomas.html). All of them were entirely NEW CREATIONS! They met Christ, they followed him, they learned from him, they grew to love him more and more each day, and their lives NEVER, EVER were the same again.

I think that’s what Paul, in his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, was trying to say. “So if anyone is in Christ,” he writes “there is a new creation: everything old has passed away” (2 Cor. 5:17). Our love for him – Christ’s love for us really – changes us. How else would anyone of us even know each other? Why else would the path of our lives lead us to wherever your path as a follower of his has led you? Do you think you would deliver meals on wheels in this neighborhood if you never had heard of the gracious love of God, who in Christ was reconciling the world – seeing us as beloved, scot-free sinners to whom God has entrusted the very same message that God was about in our flesh and blood as Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. Listen to what Paul writes in that beautiful text about us: not counting trespasses against any, but entrusting the message of reconciliation to us, so that we now are ambassadors in this world for Christ! (paraphrase of 2 Cor. 5:19-20a). NEW CREATIONS! Every last one of us.

Because of him we love the children who come to us on Wednesday nights. We open this building to be a place of communion, healing, and growth for an eclectic array of people from beyond this church who come here as if it too is their home. We feed those who come here hungry. Through your Good Samaritan ministry, you ensure families have heat and senior adults have water to clean and bathe themselves. You love and care for one another and you go into the everyday places of your homes, neighborhoods, and professional lives to live differently because Christ has made you a new creation! . . . I love that those first followers of him come to us in this season of Lent and I don’t know, like me, don’t you want to know more about the wild and crazy turns of their lives because they met and followed and learned from and loved Christ Jesus our Lord? Don’t you want to know their absolute determination, their unstoppable courage, their amazing ingenuity to navigate the waters of whatever culture they eventually found themselves in? I mean, India had to be VERY different from Palestine in the First Century – an exotic land so far away from the place where Jesus lived and died and lived again. Spain was like a land no one ever had heard of back then? What did James do to learn the lingo of the people he met there so that they too would come to know the life-changing love of Christ? We know he did because some of the oldest monasteries in this world began in Spain thanks to James’ efforts. And Peter? He didn’t care if he had to stand before the Holy Roman Emperor himself (which he supposedly did). He was going to find a way to pass on the good news of God’s unending love for us all as we know in Christ. . . . And you know, I just wonder. If they could do it; all those years ago. In a world that seemed absolutely foreign to them, among people who most probably seemed so incredibly different from them; then what about us? Why can’t we? . . . Why can’t we?

HPC: each and every one of us are NEW CREATIONS. We can leave behind the old and continue to forge a future as ambassadors for Christ some-20 centuries after folks first began it. Because it’s God’s work in those who follow and love and continue to learn from the One who revealed the heights and depths and lengths of God’s love for this whole world. We have in our DNA all we need to become what God needs us to be individually and collectively, today and tomorrow, for this community right here in the world around this building where we all come to worship each week. We can do it; for in us, God has made a new creation to be about God’s work right here and right now! . . . I know it’s still Lent, but that good news makes me want to shout already: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! And Amen!

In the name of the life-giving Father, the life-redeeming Son, and the life-sustaining Spirit, Amen!

© Copyright JMN – 2016  (All rights reserved.)