What do we do about the seeming contradiction between Jesus' teachings on nonviolence and the violence that God uses in scripture? A reflection on Jeremiah 6: 11-15
When did you realize everything had changed?
The moment I knew… the moment I knew the world changed… that moment? When I realized the few people I considered my inner circle would be the only ones… I could count on. James
The moment I knew the world changed I sat around a table in disbelief thinking back to the last time I saw my friend. And unsure when I would see them again. James the Less
I knew the moment anger boiled up inside of me for the injustice and unthinkable loss the world would come to experience. John
I knew the moment the place where we usually get food was completely out of stock of everything. One week it was fine, the next week we were fighting to find anything on our list. The fear of scarcity was overwhelming. I had to trust that all would be well and that my family would be provided for. “Let the nets down for a catch…” …our nets broke. There were so. many. fish. I just fell at his knees. Peter
I knew when I no longer could return to work. I just left. I’m sure my office looked like the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Like I was just plucked out of the middle of a regular week. All I had to hear were those two words: “Follow. Me.” I didn’t need my former life; I knew someone else could fill the role of tax collector. Matthew/Levi
I actually… didn’t believe. I didn’t think it was true. Everything everyone was saying seemed dramatic. Where was the proof? It seemed like each day there was a news story saying something contradicting the one before it. Things changed so quickly. I had so many doubts. “Unless I saw the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I could not believe… Thomas
After I realized we were in a new reality the protests started. This is what I had waited for. The crowds gathered, people waved their palms and finally I knew that Jesus realized the power he had within himself to force the Roman hand. Justice was ours! Finally people would get loud. Finally the voices of the oppressed would be heard. This quickly turned as I realized my understanding of power was different than his… and I thought I could take matters into my own hand. The moment I kissed his cheek I couldn’t have known how the world would forever change… Judas
I knew when he spoke truth about me that only I knew. I knew when he saw me under the fig tree before Philip called me to come. How could someone know me so deeply… without ever meeting me? Nathanael/Bartholomew
The moment I knew it was morning. I felt like the world was crashing down around me and others were able to just go about their regular routine. Did they not know what was happening? What had happened? I was standing at the opening of the tomb, I thought someone had taken him away. A man, who I thought was a gardener asked why I wept. Then he said my name, “Mary.” In that moment, I knew the world had changed forever. Mary Magdalene
I recommend you or your liturgist intro this video/spoken word by saying something like the statement below in order to not "give away," the connection to the gospel, and allow people to experience their own realizations in the moment...
One year ago we found ourselves quickly adapting as we continued to be the church when the building was no longer a safe place to gather. As we discover why Easter Matters in light of our experience this past year, we invite you to pause and remember all this year has been, and to reflect on times when surrendering to the moment is all we can do...
Rachel Billups, Be Bold (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2019), 72-74. [This insightful understanding of Judas’ character was first made known to me in the book Be Bold by Rachel Billups.]
In her Extraordinary Connection devotion, Pastor Laura asks: What is outside the four walls the church building? What are the needs within the church? What are the needs in the local community?
The Northern Lights are a natural miracle from God, but to see them takes preparation, intentionality and being in the right place - the same steps we need to practice to see the other miracles God performs in our lives.
Pastor Brian asks: Can anger be holy? Or is it a sin? Or maybe both?