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In a world where we all tend to shield ourselves from one another, God invites us to our fuller humanity -- and to discover the power that comes with being fully open, accessible, available, touchable.

This summer launches a series on power -- the powers of this world, and the power of the Holy Spirit and of God's transforming love.

Jesus said, "You did not choose me, I chose YOU!"

Happy Mother's Day. May you find, and offer, the love of God that is like the full and complete adoring love of a mother for her newborn.

Some key things emerge for us as ways to live as followers of Jesus, from this week's scriptures from Acts and the Gospel of John. 

  • Abide in me
  • Get up and go
  • Come alongside
  • Love whom you meet
  • Ask questions
  • Let me lead
  • Offer the story, speak the truth, proclaim the good news

So, let's walk through these together!

This sermon is from Good Shepherd Sunday (April 25th) in this Easter Season. 

One of the haunting things from the high-profile trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was the testimony of people in the crowd who saw it all happen -- and the deep sense of regret they carry for not doing more to stop what was happening before them. It is rattling testimony. When we face such moments, or any moments that call on something more from us, what will we do? 

Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep." What does this mean, really? And what does it mean, really, for us to lay our lives down for others -- not in words, but in truth and action?

Thomas is one of my favorite disciples. His demand to see Jesus speaks of his deep yearning. Beneath the bravado is a heart eager to be released from the gloom of fear, grief, and sadness that overshadowed all of the disciples. Jesus meets him right where he is.

Joy and blessings to you all this Easter! Alleluia, Christ is risen! The gloom of darkness is dispelled as light rises and reveals what God has made new. And you are named and drawn fully in to the light of Christ Jesus, the One who meets you and calls out to you by name.

These reflections for Holy Week in 2021 invite you to consider deeply what you mean by "freedom," and what Jesus was really calling us to. What does following Jesus really mean? What kind of freedom does Jesus bring us -- and what is this freedom for? Journey with me, and find that the freedom Jesus brings comes only through being loved by the God that gives himself away for the whole world, and through learning to give ourselves away in love for others.

 

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