This Sunday our readings confront us with the uncomfortable reality that the good news causes division and conflict (Luke 12). Of course the good news brings reconciliation, healing, peace and joy to the whole world. But the love of God made known and incarnate in Jesus also compels us to seek reconciliation, healing, peace and joy in the name of Christ for every human being and indeed for every creature.
This Sunday the Gospel warns us to be ready at unexpected times for the return of our Master (Luke 12). If we are reaching for some example of what this readiness looks like we might turn to the words of the prophet Isaiah.
“Cease to do evil. Learn to do good. Seek Justice. Rescue the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1) But if we are expecting these actions to have some predictable effect upon our lives, we are likely to be confused and disappointed. This is because while we must try to live in readiness for the master’s return, we have to be prepared to persevere in his absence. The absence of the master leaves open the possibility that our efforts to live in obedience to the master will not receive the immediate reward we should expect. Sometimes those who do evil will prosper.
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the more they went from me;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and offering incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with bands of love. (Hosea 11:1-5)
The message of Hosea is even more striking than that of the other prophets when it comes to family and bodily metaphors. God's message to Hosea is that God's people have betrayed the familial relationship in choosing to follow other gods. We too follow other gods, sometimes harming others with our greed and misuse of others, and sometimes only harming ourselves. Regardless of how we get into sin and separation from God, getting out is always as easy as turning toward God's mercy. The God who led Israel with "cords of human kindness" will lead us back as well.
This Sunday’s story about Mary and Martha has sometimes been interpreted as the acceptable range of discipleship for women – either Martha - servant hospitality or Mary -contemplation. But we are far beyond identifying or limiting discipleship roles by gender. Likewise, we are beyond hierarchical, or competitive concepts of discipleship. While Jesus says Mary has chosen the better part, we don’t need to thumb our noses at servant hospitality.
This week we are sharing a podcast from Episcopal Migration Ministries. It's called the "Walk in Love Border Tour". Here's more about it:
Allison and Kendall recently had the opportunity to join the Diocese of West Texas for their Walk in Love Border Tour. The “Walk in Love” border tour highlighted some of the Episcopal ministries and humanitarian efforts in south-central Texas. The May 15-17 tour of Texas began in San Antonio and made stops along the U.S.-Mexico border in Roma, McAllen and Brownsville.
This weekend we give thanks for the birth of Anna Krista Petrova, the Baptism of William Daly, the safe return of our 17 J2A pilgrims, and for those people who have supported, encouraged, and inspired us on our journey. We are so proud and happy to have the opportunity to be of support to others on their journey, too.