From My Reading

“Easter morning. A very simple, quiet Eucharist around the table in Madame Vanier’s dining room….A small group of friends happy to be together. We spoke together about the resurrection. Liz, who works with many anguished people, said, “We have to keep rolling away the large stones that prevent people from coming out of their graves.'” Elizabeth, who lives with four handicapped people…said, “After the resurrection Jesus had breakfast again with his friends and showed them the importance of the small, ordinary things of life.” Sue… said, “It is such comfort to know that Jesus’ wounds remain visible in his risen body. Our wounds are not taken away, but become visible sources of hope for others” (Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey).

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“When one is inside the tomb, it is hard to tell how long you have been in or when the stone might be rolled away. The tomb of dehumanization, distortion, and domination is holding many of us now. If resurrection happens over time and if one learns it by example (as Christianity implies), then stay alert. Listen to the many sounds of scraping stones.  Like the disciples (Mark 9:10), question among yourselves what this ‘rising again from the dead’ could mean” (Rose Marie Berger in Sojourners, May, 2018).

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“What if God doesn’t want us to be satisfied by our Bible studies, devotionals, times of prayer and acts of service done in his name?  What if he wants us to live unsatisfied?  When we come to Christ expecting satisfaction, we inadvertently approach him as if he is the answer to both our natural appetites and our consumeristic desires.  Rather than ask him to transform our desires, we expect him to take them away or morph himself into the solution we’re wanting.  We approach him as either a product or a solution.  And God is neither . . . . The trouble is while we may want God to make our lives as fulfilling as we can envision, God envisions something far greater.  He wants us to long for life in his presence and the full redemption of creation”(Amy Simpson in Christianity Today, January/ February, 2018).

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“When rising forces of nationalistic exclusivism are fueled by racial bigotry, when a naked global struggle for money and power shreds bonds of human solidarity, and when unbridled greed threatens planetary survival, is the truth and integrity of our faith at stake? Is the only response capable of addressing the roots of this crisis one of spiritual resistance and renewal rooted in what it means to confess Jesus Christ as Lord?  In other words is it a kairos moment calling us to a clear discernment of what it means in this present context to confess our faith? And must such a confession then shape the communities of those who believe the gospel? In my view, the answer is yes” (Wesley Granberg-Michaelson in Sojourners, February, 2018).

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“I believe God energizes and empowers human agency. And human agents, when they are empowered can change [human hurt]. What happens is that well-off people, like me, don’t want to exercise human agency; we like it the way it is. And if you are terribly disadvantaged, you can be in such despair that you don’t undertake any human agency.  The point of preaching is to say that God’s hopes are to be performed through human agency. The promise of the gospel is that the powers and principalities will yield to human agency that is authorized and powered by God; it’s the capacity to transfer divine authority into human agency – which of course is what Dr. King did when he mobilized people to engage in civic actions” (Walter Brueggemann in Sojourners, January, 2018).

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