“I am… the way, the truth, and the life…” is as wide and expansive a claim as a person can make. Jesus followed up that claim with a way that embraced people across life’s spectrum. His way included many unexpected people like a Roman Centurion, a sinful woman and a despised traitorous tax collector. Jesus way expressed truth about the world and gave us life in a new way.
Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. Which means we are the sheep. Now we may not be flattered by being called sheep but the relationship between shepherd and sheep is a great description of our relationship with Jesus.
Each of us is created as a holy vessel of embodied love. Our sense of wholeness has been shattered. We look to Lent to be a season or recovery after the toxicity of this last year. Jesus is in solidarity with our healing of body, soul and spirit, where beauty is created from that which feels broken.
Mary, the young mother of Jesus, was as a woman powerless in the face of those who ruled the land. Still, in the Magnificat, Mary exults in a power that comes, not from a throne or any earthly authority, but from God. God’s powerful grace and love through Jesus is then claimed for the poor and oppressed.
The word “Jesus” means “God saves.” So anytime we say the name Jesus we are saying God saves. He is the deliver. His name says He is Savior. He liberates us. He rescues us. If that is so then what does that really mean?
You can tell a lot about a person’s heart by who has a place at their dinner table. Jesus was constantly getting into trouble for sitting at tables with sinners. It was partly from sitting at too many tables that got Jesus killed. Two thousand years later we sit at a table with Jesus. In this election week may find strength and peace at Jesus’ table.
What matters to our Creator is not the image we present to the world, but the image God created in us.
Three times the Disciples of Jesus argue about who is the greatest. Can you imagine that? These disciples watch Jesus minister to the least, the last and the lost but they still are concerned with their pecking order in the followers of Jesus. Jesus overhears their arguments and gives them some advice.
Often differences among people can lead to division. Our nation in embroiled in racial tension and division in part due to the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among others. Unity does not just happen; we have to work at it. Rev. Julius Keller asks: what role can we who dare to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ do to bring about healing and reconciliation? What role can our church play in this process?
When Jesus was healing people he made a lengthy journey to help a man who people felt was possessed by demons. The man’s story is still common today. Many among us hide struggles with brain issues because they are worried about being stigmatized. In this Gospel story Jesus’ reaction to the man gives us guidance on how we can help.