Perhaps it is a little dangerous to talk about economics in church; however, when we see Jesus teaching in parables about workers and their wages and when we remember that we are citizens not only of this world but also of the kingdom of heaven, we ought to stop and ask, “If Jesus Math says one plus one equals three, then what does God’s Economics have to teach us?
God is still speaking. Will you pause from your daily grind to turn aside and see the bush that is aflame? Will you seek out a spiritual advisor that connects you with the intimate truths of God that lie beyond your own expectations? Will you listen to the silent longings of your own heart which may be the stirrings of the Holy Spirit?
In Matthew’s gospel, the feeding of five thousand is not a story about one feast, but two, and you are invited to both. Which invitation will you accept?
The storms are raging within and without, personally and communally. But we are in this together and we need to hear the words of God’s messenger saying: “Do not be afraid. I have a purpose for each of you and all of you. The ship may break apart, but you will survive the storm.” So take courage, listen to unexpected wisdom, stay in community, and break bread together. We will survive.
The freedom Paul imagines for us is not only freedom from but also freedom for. It is our allegiance to Christ that shows us how to experience life. It is our obedience to Christ’s way that sets us on the path to life. Allegiance to Christ means the freedom to be God’s instruments, God’s tools for life.
The ministry of Stephen is not just something a few well-trained members of the congregation do when they offer pastoral care to neighbors in times of trouble. The ministry of Stephen is something we are all called to do as we witness to Jesus Christ through our acts of service, grace, and forgiveness – even in the face of a culture that urges us to conform to its norms.
Who is this? Who is this man who comes silently riding on a borrowed donkey while his disciples hail him as the Son of David, the blessed one who comes in the name of the Lord?
We observe Lent because we need to shake up our comfortable, self-serving faith – the faith of lush meadows and bubbling springs – with a faith that confronts us in our sin and pushes us to more perfect love – the faith of wilderness sand storms and dried-up river beds. It is in the wilderness that we begin our Lenten journey, the same wilderness where Jesus began his.