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The Deepening of Hope: Progress Inside the Story of Jesus

What does it mean to live inside Jesus’ story?  The novelist Margaret Atwood has said that in the end, we will all end up as stories.  For those of us claimed by the love of God made flesh in Jesus, it is Jesus’ story that determines and guides our own. 

In a sermon titled ‘Life Draped in Hope’, the Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings offers helpful insights into what it means to live inside the story of Jesus.  

The Sibling Sets of Seeking Justice

He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?   (Micah 6.8)

Orientation, Disorientation, and Reorientation of CRCNA

I find Walter Brueggemann's framework of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation quite helpful as we as a denomination try to grow in diversity and unity. According to Brueggemann, our faith journey begins with orientation, where we find ourselves in a state of deep gratitude for life's blessings. This phase is characterized by a sense of peace and order, where everything in our lives aligns harmoniously with God's creation. Yet, inevitably, we enter periods of disorientation, marked by loss, crisis, and confusion.

Shalom in the Not-Yet

As I moved across the Narthex, I could see my office door. Inside was a chair I knew I could collapse in and a desk on which I could place all the music, binders, and odds and ends that had accumulated in my arms since the end of the service. Just a few more steps. A few more steps. A few more—

—“Miss Bethany!” the girl cried out and bounded across the narthex to throw her arms around me. “I prayed for you today in Sunday school!”

Touching the Untouchables

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said.


The Lord Built a House by the Nations and for the Nations

"The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple." 1 Kings 5:18

God Who Sees

“You don’t know what it’s like to be single at 39.” Words I never expected to utter more than once in the last few weeks. I never want to sound bitter, much less be bitter. I aspire to be the person who self-reflects, owns mistakes, forgives, heals, and continues to have faith and hope.


Three Kinds of Love

A Valentine’s Day Meditation Inflected by Liberation Theology

Three Wondrous "Nots"

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.” (Isaiah 42: 1-4a)

Mars Hill Gospel for a Confusing World

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. …  Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.  For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you (Acts 17:16-23, NIV) 



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