Our Weekly Thought – April 23-29, 2018

Branches cannot grow and be fruitful unless connected to the main vine. Likewise, our connection to community allows us to be fruitful in gratitude, generosity, hospitality, and service. It is easy to see when a branch is connected to a vine. What are the indications you notice when someone is connected to Jesus and a helpful community? Seek after and encourage those qualities.

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Our Weekly Thought – April 2-8, 2018

We usually rag on Thomas for doubting. I think he just wanted to be there when Jesus showed up to the rest of his friends. We can’t always be present in the community we prefer. Still, we should expect God’s presence in each and every community and be grateful whenever that presence is so distinct even we can sense it. Open our eyes, Lord, to the gift of your wonder and love.

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Our Weekly Thought - March 26-April 1, 2018

This year the Day of Jesus' Resurrection, Easter Day, is April 1st. There is something to be said about God’s joke being the gift of new life in Christ Jesus for us and all believers, by Jesus returning from the dead. “No life is life without me; in me, no death is death.” May we embody the new hope that God gives to all of humanity and share the resurrection promise wherever we go.

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Our Weekly Thought - March 19-25, 2018

Throughout the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was careful to ensure that no one spread the news about his divinity. So it is remarkable that before the High Priest, when being quiet would have made the most sense for Jesus’ self-protection (Mark 15:61-62), he instead declares his Messianic purpose. May we have the courage of our convictions, realizing that God’s power is within and among us in Christ Jesus.

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Our Weekly Thought - February 26-March 4, 2018

Jesus saw that the part of the Temple that had been set aside by God for Gentiles to worship the Lord was instead being used by the people as a marketplace for themselves. Jesus tore up the place in a visual reminder to all that nothing should block anyone from true worship. Help us be among those people who invite others into worship and connection with the living Lord Jesus.

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Our Weekly Thought - February 12-18, 2018

The Gospel lesson for Ash Wednesday (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21) warns us not to be showy in our faith; rather, be genuine. Let love be genuine, hate what is evil. Love what is good. Good advice. How often do we follow it? “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, states the Gospel. I find this to be true. Where I place my time and money is often the places wherein I put my trust. Take the time this week to consider where your money goes and where you would like your heart to be.

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Our Weekly Thought - February 5-11, 2018

When Jesus was suddenly transfigured before his friends from his ordinary person into a vision of the Holy Otherness of God, his followers were terrified and did not know what to do or say. When God’s holiness touches physical reality, the manifestation is perceived as blinding light. Just as we turn away from direct sunlight, people turn from pure holiness, recognizing that God is holy; we are not. Still, God comes to us in Christ Jesus, so that we might receive God’s holiness forever.

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Our Weekly Thought - January 29 - February 4, 2018

Mark 1:35 describes Jesus getting up very early in the morning, long before dawn, in order to pray. The author Henri Nouwen in his book Out of Solitude declares that it is in conversation with God that Jesus is able to hear God’s voice and not his own, and so follow God’s will and not his own. Make time for prayer and silence before God this week.

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Our Weekly Thought - January 8-14, 2018

The word epiphany comes from the Greek epiphainein, meaning to manifest or show forth. In Christian understanding, this indicates the revelation of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus' baptism was special, especially in Mark, where the very heavens split open in a revelation of God’s blessing upon and in Jesus. Where and how does God’s blessing show forth in the world today?

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