Themes for this week:
Undeserved Love, Refuge and Shelter, Being a Voice, Eucatastrophe
As we continue through the Epiphany season, the holidays are behind us and the cold of Winter is in full force as we wait for Spring. This Sunday we will focus on what keep us going through harder, colder times.
- Have you ever been on the receiving end of love you might not have deserved?
- What keeps your spirit warm during the "winters" of your life? Where do you draw your own love from?
- Have you ever prevented violence or force, be it physical, social, or emotional, through your own voice of love?
- Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." What does this mean to you? What makes this hard to believe?
Parker Palmer, 20th century
"[T]he mission of the church is not to enlarge its membership, not to bring outsiders to accept its terms, but simply to love the world in every possible way - to love the world as God did and does.…If we are able to love the world, that will be the best demonstration of the truth which the church has been given."
Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books, 21st century
"I experience religious dread whenever I find myself thinking that I know the limits of God’s grace, since I am utterly certain it exceeds any imagination a human being might have of it. God does, after all, so love the world."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 20th century
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
Henri Nouwen, 20th century
"Knowing the heart of Jesus and loving him are the same thing….The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century
"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them."
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, 21st century
"Protesters are still on the fringes like satellites, revolving around the system. But prophets and poets lead us into a new world, beyond simply yelling at the old one."
Julie Polter, 20th century
"This is the big lie the world tells us: that the universe is connected by trade agreements, electronic banking, computer networks, shipping lanes, and the seeking of profit — nothing else. Whereas this is the truth of God: all creation is one holy web of relationships, and gifts meant for all; that creation vibrates with the pain of all its parts, because its true destiny is joy."
Julian of Norwich, 14th century
"If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love."
Readings for this Sunday:
Jeremiah 1:4-10 • Ps. 71:1-6 • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 • Luke 4:21-30