Homelessness and Housing

In addition to Luke’s earthy Christmas narrative, we have John’s “long-haired theological stuff,” an homage to the breath-taking wonder that the Word became Flesh. 

Displacement and Replacement

The Christmas story is both a sacred part of our faith formation and a prophetic challenge to our comfort with the status quo. 

Dislocation and Relocation

When Luke’s Christmas story, says “there was no room in the inn,” it points to a “displacement” that is repeated throughout Jesus’ life and even in his death. Advent prepares us for the one who “had no place to lay his head.” 

The Appetizer Before the Meal

Life can be stressful on its own; and, the holidays bring even more stress to our lives.  Zechariah’s prophecy about his son John (Luke 1:67-79) provides the keys we need to survive and enjoy this week before Advent.  John the Baptist is the prelude to the real feast that God has in store ahead of us.

Hagar’s Story, part 2

If we read the second story of Hagar as Hagar’s story and not as an aside to Abraham and Sarah’s story, we can see that God’s abundance is not a zero sum equation, but provides enough for all. 

Hagar’s Story, Part 1

If we read the first story of Hagar as Hagar’s story and not as an aside to Abram and Sarah’s story, we see that God is free, able, and willing to make one covenant with one people and enter another covenant with another people. 

Called (to be) Saints

When Paul writes to the church in Rome, he addresses them as something that can be translated in two different ways: “Called saints” or “Called to be saints.” Which is it? 

The Church Organizes to Serve

In our final look at the church in Antioch, we see how – though they were considered a church with an asterisk – they organized to carry out a relief mission for the church in Jerusalem, because they were also a church filled with the Holy Spirit.  

The Church Gains an Identity

The description, “They were first called Christians at Antioch,” demonstrates that the church’s participation in an expansive view of God’s work and their willingness to reconcile with someone who had been their enemy made a powerful impression on their surrounding community.  

Transforming Accountability

Continuing our theme of “The World Where It Happens,” we hear how the “mother church” in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to hold the new church in Antioch accountable. When we follow God into the world, we welcome accountability.