Today we’ll explore the value of making space for one another’s pain on both a personal level and in the public domain. We’ll also dig into our scripture passage from Mark with its reminders that the Divine not only doesn’t shy away from human suffering but always seems to be right in the thick of it.
Today we talk a little bit about our own sanctuary project as it relates to building but, just as importantly, we’ll talk about God’s notions around this topic of building. What does God want from God’s people when it comes to buildings? What does God NOT want? What needs to be broken down first in order to build up? How do we know, in God’s realm, when it’s time to build? Who is the builder? What is being built? Join us as we ponder this and more!
Our scripture reading this Sunday is from Paul’s second letter to the community in Corinth. It’s in this passage that Paul talks about the “thorn in his flesh,” that unknown affliction or malady that companioned him all his life. As he grapples with that particular “truth,” he explores the notion of God’s strength as it makes itself known in our human weakness, inviting us into that powerful and profound reflection along with him.
Adam Marshall-Lopez leads us as we examine both the tension between Jesus and his family (evident in their attempt to take him out of public view) and the “inner” teaching about the unforgivable sin, blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Our scripture passage for today highlights a Pharisee named Nicodemus whose interest, curiosity and hope appeared to be piqued by Jesus. Jesus tells him that all must be “born again” or “born from above” and Nicodemus struggles with what that might possibly mean. “How can we possibly be born again when we’ve already been born?”
Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day that is recognized as the birthday of the church! Today we discuss the ways God breaks the binary, otherness, in which language, nationality, gender, sexuality, race, culture, ability no longer hold us back from understanding one another, and unites us so that we can be one in the Holy Spirit. This is the birth of a new church. A celebration in oneness.
Today is Ascension Sunday, a day that is not particularly recognized or highly anticipated in our culture at large. I doubt anyone woke up this morning saying, “Yay! It’s Ascension Sunday!” But, despite that fact, it’s a day that is special…significant in the life of the church. Luke writes about the ascension of Jesus into heaven, his return back to God, both at the end of the gospel of Luke and at the beginning of Acts. Curiously, these accounts are somewhat different.
Our scripture today continues in the Eastertide theme of life in relationship with God. Jesus talks about his love for the disciples and their love for one another using the language of friendship. And, even as we read his words, we might find ourselves asking, “How do we, frail, fallible human beings even come close to fulfilling this commandment?”