As we continue our work of anti-racism and answering Jesus’ call “Follow me” we will be reading and discussing James Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree, a pivotal work of Black Liberation Theology. This discussion will take place on Zoom. Feel free to join (using the same link) at either Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. or Thursday …
We don’t always see the fruits of our labors. But rather than despair remember we walk by faith and not by sight.
Rather than be held back by family who thinks Jesus has lost his mind, Jesus expands who his family is. “Looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’”…When we’ve been rejected by our families, queer or not, Jesus has embraced us into his.
Patrick’s prayer affirms an ever-present, dynamic God, similar to the dynamic relational God of process theology. God is everywhere, sustaining everything, guiding our steps, and giving us wisdom to face the challenges of each day. God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
Jesus promised the disciples an advocate, a helper, a Spirit of Truth, and that Spirit has come.
Jesus prayed for his disciples. Knowing that they would face trials and persecution and that people make mistakes, that we are not saving ourselves, that we cannot save ourselves, Jesus prayed for his disciples. In the moments before Jesus goes out to be arrested, he prays for his disciples.
This passage can serve to remind us that whether home has been a refuge and comfort in the past year or a place we couldn’t wait to leave, we also have a home in the love of God. It’s a home we carry with us, like a tent, and it shows up when we remember God’s love for us and when we treat others as God’s beloved.
Jesus prunes our hearts, so that we may know his heart better, and through him share the freedom we have found in him.
We don’t necessarily see God’s justice enacted, but Jesus the good shepherd has lain down his life for us. He has promised to call us by name, and to care for us as a shepherd cares for sheep. Jesus loves us tenderly and will bear our burdens, carrying us over his shoulders or in the crook of his arm when we’re feeling pressed to the point of feeling crushed.
The key to this passage is the necessity of abiding in Jesus’ love. It’s working to respond to God’s grace by staying close to God. In the text today, John the Elder assures us that when we sin, Jesus makes provision.
Doubt is an ebb and flow with faith. Even in Thomas’ doubt, in our doubt, Jesus’ love doesn’t wax or wane. While our doubt and faith ebb and flow, Jesus’s love is constant for us.