Bread is comfort food. The smell of bread baking reminds us of home and family. It evokes memories of warmth and love. In a hungry world like ours, where many are starving physically, spiritually and emotionally bread is a gift of hope. Jesus describes Himself as the bread of life. What does He mean by this?
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.
Jesus said, “I am the gate.” Some of his listeners understood part of what he meant but there is a deeper meaning. A meaning they had difficulty comprehending. When we go through the gate, Jesus talks about we discover new possibilities and leave our past behind. Going through the gate promises a new life.
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.
King Solomon ruled Israel from about 1,000 BC to around 960 BC. Do you remember what Solomon was known for? He was known for his wisdom. People came from all around to seek his wisdom. Solomon started off well but then something shifted. This shift is noted when the scripture says, “It took Solomon seven years to build the temple and thirteen years to build his house.” In that sentence is a shift that is easy to do if we are unaware.
Where do we invest our life? Do we invest in stuff that loses value over time? That is sold off for pennies on the dollar at the end of our life. What do we do with the talents God invests in us. Do we dig a hole in the ground and bury them or do we double their value? Will God say, “well done good and faithful steward?”
In the parable of the person who is robbed, beaten and left for dead, Jesus picks a controversial hero. He could have picked a less controversial character but he wanted to teach His listeners something important. Something that could speak to our world in 2021.
Maybe you can’t imagine forgiving certain people in your life. Yet Jesus says that before we can fully worship God we are to be reconciled with our brother or sister. We know that forgiveness is one response to hurt and separation that we can choose but how do we work through the feelings and resistance we may have to forgive those who have hurt us deeply.
Youth of our church will lead us in worship which is themed to explore our God given gifts and talents.
While Jesus is at a dinner with Pharisees a prostitute crashes the party. She walks into Simon’s house. He may have let out a gasp. She has perfumed ointment in her hand. Why does she come to find Jesus? Why does she bring such expensive oil? Why does she crash the party?