"Palm Sunday"

Philippians 2:5-11




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Holy week creates a pattern that can be found in so many of life’s adventures. Palm Sunday is where we take off with an idea, then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday is were we find out that God has a completely different path for us to take, a path that often includes dealing with our pride and selfish ambition. But if we stay attached to the Vine of Life through our faith in Christ, then God is able to do immeasurably more than we could have ever thought or imagined. God’s amazing power to redeem and resurrect our misguided intentions, will bring the Easter sunrise.
— Bruce Balgaard

"The gift of insignificance"

Luke 13:18-19

Like the pesky little mustard seed, God’s presence and activity often comes unexpectedly, indiscriminately, and with abundance! The liberating news that God’s Kingdom is found not exclusively in the places of great influence, but more often in the insignificant people, places and events that, while seemingly small, bear the infectious possibility of God’s goodness, mercy and love is an invitation to join in the abundance!
— Todd Bratulich

"The parable of the sower"

Mark 4:1-20

If God comes to you and tries to change your heart, but sorrow, hate, worry, or exhaustion stunt the process, it doesn’t lodge you forever into the category of “bad hearer of the word.” Failure isn’t final, it’s the way to healing.
— Andrea Hollingsworth

"The parable of the seed growing secretly"

Mark 4:26-29

Our journey through the twenty-five parables of Jesus will invite us to many wonderings about ourselves and our world. We are to take courage when we are confounded and have some of our traditional—and in some cases false beliefs—dislodged from their place of settled-ness. And, in it all, anticipate joyful discoveries about Christ, about ourselves, and our world.
— Dan Collison

"Inhabitants of parched places"

Isaiah 58:1-12

The danger of an unexamined life is that we might forget who we are, ‘house that believes it is not a house,’ as poet Tracy K. Smith puts it. The season of Lent is a time to pull back the veil, to look hard at the fragility of our own lives, to take stock, to reorient from where we’ve become lost, to repent. And repentance, in the words of the late Fr. Thomas Keating, is simply to ‘change the direction in which you are looking for happiness.’
— Todd Bratulich

"Struggling through disagreements"

3 John

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…ultimately readers of this personal letter are left with a simple take away that is this: John had tremendous resolve and was willing to take the necessary risks to struggle through what he deemed an important disagreement until a breakthrough could be achieved. Resolve and risk in the face of uncertain outcomes was key to his approach.
— Dan Collison

"All in"

1 John 5:6-12

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Jesus embodies the text, to communicate to the world what the Word looks like when it finds you, embraces you, looks you in the eye, loves you to death, rescues you, and calls out to you that there is more life for you if you will simply follow in his footsteps.
— Judy Peterson

"Becoming the Beloved"

1 John 4:7-21

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“…because God shows us and gives us complete and inexhaustible love and especially through all who Jesus is—all who follow Christ are to without reservation claim their belovedness, reflect their belovedness back to God with whole-hearted devotion, and outwardly show and give love to others completely and inexhaustibly as well.”
— Dan Collison

"Truing up the false self"

1 John 2:28 - 3:10

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Hands down, the most unhelpful false construct given to us either by our family systems or our religious systems is anything or anyone that says we don’t belong. That we are not good enough. That we “don’t make the cut.” John declared the truth in today’s text when he said that each of us are the children of God. We are loved. And, we belong. Do we believe this?
— Dan Collison

"Self-deception versus self-authenticity"

1 John 2:7-27

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The essence of John’s theology, which comes through his gospel and all three of his letters, is that love isn’t just from God, it is God. And if God lives in you, then love lives in you too, and vice versa.
— Andrea Hollingsworth

Why could we not cast it out?

Matthew 17:14-20

“This is faith… it is as we surrender, as we both acknowledge the limits of our own power to bring about transformation, and trust our whole selves in God as conduits of love and makers of peace, knowing full well that joining in the suffering of the world will bring about our own suffering, but that it will also bring about our healing and salvation. That is the power of an active faith!”
— Todd Bratulich

"Living the beliefs"

1 John 1:1 - 2:6

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…what I am noticing in John’s letters and what I am pleading for today is humility in the way we approach our systems of theology and boldness in the way we live our lives by following the obvious ways Jesus lived his life.
— Dan Collison

"The holy came near"

Luke 2:1-20

…the entire point of Christmas is this—God demonstrating in the Christ Child and clarifying for all time everything in the cosmos is designed to ceaselessly dance between differentiation and communion, togetherness and difference, individuality and mutuality.
— Dan Collison

"For those who wait"

Micah 5:1-5a

Maybe this is the promise. Not that everything will be fixed. Not that a peace from some external source will somehow make all the darkness go away... But rather, that from the place of exile, just when it feels like God has “given me up” or “given up” my community and my world, then God conceived within me and within each of us a hope, a longing which we are called to carry and labor into the world. Perhaps it is in the waiting, in the carrying, and in the labor that our salvation, our healing, our redemption comes.
— Todd Bratulich

"What then shall we do?"

Luke 3:7-20

This Scripture is an important Advent text in that it helps us recognize that beyond John the Baptizer, the Incarnation of God was in part a corrective to the human problems of indifference, cruelty and greed. And, for those courageous enough to live their lives in the flow of Jesus’ compassion, mercy, and justice imperatives—we will recognize that we are given both a deep sense of purpose and a good measure of complexity.
— Dan Collison