Questions and Reflections

March 2016

An Easter Reflection

Easter begins as an idle tale. 

I love so many different parts of today's gospel reading. The story starts during the early dawn. Dawn, which is the breaking of day, isn't enough for this story. The story starts at early dawn, when the light first begins to fill the night sky. Several woman, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, the mother of James, and others, are carrying spices to the tomb where Jesus is buried. When Jesus died, they were not able to properly bury him because the sabbath (the holy day set apart for God and a day when no work is done) was about to come. So the women return once the sabbath is over to complete the process. As they near the tomb, retracing steps they took just a few days before, sunlight begins to show them something unexpected: the door to Jesus' tomb is open. 

When the women rush back to their friends, the apostles don't believe a word they say. The story seems ridiculous. They saw Jesus killed by the Romans. They buried him in a large stone tomb. Jesus was gone. The 11 and others were gathered together, trying to figure out what to do next. When these women showed up, with their tale about an empty tomb and men in pure white, they weren't believed. Even when Peter runs to the tomb, he's amazed but he doesn't tell anyone what he saw. Instead, the first sharing of Jesus' resurrection remains what it was first: an idle tell. 

But this unbelievable tale couldn't stop being told. And we keep proclaiming it today. Jesus, God's own Son, lived a human life. He cried when he was a baby. He ran away from home. He grew up to call the poor, the working class, and the undesirables as friends. And when the Roman Empire convicted him and killed him like he was just some lowlife criminal, he hung on that cross with his arms open and welcoming all. The unbelievable tale isn't only that Jesus was raised from the dead. The unbelievable tale is that God wants a relationship with you and with me. Jesus isn't in the tomb. He's here, among the living. So let's seek out and keep sharing this idle tale and find Jesus in everyone around us.


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A Reflection for Good Friday

Today is a day of paradox. On the day we remember Jesus' death, we proclaim that this day is good. On a day when we recall God's Son suffering on a cross, we see this cross as a source of life. On a day during the first week of Spring, when new life surrounds us, we gather around Jesus' death. On this Friday, it seems contradictory to call today good. 

But the church does declare today good. By calling today Good Friday, we're not saying that Jesus' death is a "good" thing. We're not saying that the death he experienced is something to emulate or be proud of. We're not making a value judgement that gives support for what the Romans did. Instead, we acknowledge something fundamental to our faith: that Jesus, God's Son, lived a complete human life. 

Death is scary. Death is an idea and a concept that we try to run away from. But God never runs from what's scary or frightening. Jesus went to the cross, and even then, forgiving others for what they are doing. We gather tonight to remember our baptism. We are bound, connected, and united with this Jesus who died a terrible death. And we are bound, connected, and united with this Jesus who will rise in just three days.

Even on Good Friday, we are still a people of the resurrection. Even in the face of death, we still proclaim hope. The hope isn't that our lives will always be like they are now. Our hope is that, even in death, we will always be close to God, the source of life. Tonight, we gather at the foot of the cross because we know that Easter will come and even death doesn't, in the end, overcome. 


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A Maundy Thursday Reflection

Tonight begins three central days of the church year: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (or the Saturday night service called the Easter Vigil). Recalling Jesus' own words that, after 3 days he will rise again (Mark 10:34), we condense these three days into one single movement. Tonight begins one long church service. 

Over these 3 days, we'll include elements that match up with what we do on Sunday morning. On Maundy Thursday, we'll confess our sins and receive forgiveness. We'll follow Jesus' example of humility and service with Pastor Marc washing the feet of anyone who comes forward. The Lord's Supper will be celebrated as well. But then, later in worship, the altar will be stripped. The candles and fabrics will be removed. The bare altar is a sign of what's to come. 

As we leave the sanctuary this morning, we'll still be in our long worship service. I won't offer a dismissal. I won't invite you to remember Jesus or the poor. Instead, our drive home and our nightly chores will happen while we are still in worship. When we brush our teeth and curl up in bed with a good book or our favorite smartphone, we'll see be in worship. And when we wake up and enjoy that morning cup of coffee, our worship continues. Wherever we find ourselves, we are still with God. Whatever we are doing, we are still in a relationship with the God who fed us, washed our feet, and was betrayed by his friend. These three days invite us to see our entire lives as an act of worship. Even tying our shoes and combing our hair is connected to God. God cares about all of us. God even cares about the very human and tiny things that we do. Tonight begins our three-day long worship. Let's see how God is even involved in our everyday. 


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A Reflection on Joshua

Our first reading is Joshua 24:1-7,11,13-15.

Today's reading from Joshua comes at the every end of the book. Like the end of Deuteronomy, Joshua ends with an extortion to the people to walk closely with God. The people gather in Shechem, the place where Abraham first encountered God in the promised land, and Joshua begins with a history lesson. He reminds the people where they came from, including their ancestors who worshipped other gods. From Abraham through Moses, the people have traveled a great deal. They are now in the land promised to them, a land that is finally quiet after years of warfare. The conquest of this land is now, relatively, complete. The people now need to learn a new thing: how to be God's people when they're no longer on the move. 

That's the context for the famous line: "as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." This verse shows up in lots of places and might be hanging on a piece of art in our home. In the context of Joshua, he is asking the people to make a choice and a commitment to walk in the ways of God. In our context, we can do the same. Making a choice for God is a powerful way to feed our faith. There's power in declaring our allegiance to God. That witness helps frame how we approach each day, grounding ourselves in a God of promise. 

Yet, I've always seen this verse not as a declaration (even though it is in the text) but as a prayer. There are days when it is easy for me to choose God. But there are days when I struggle. There are days when I don't notice God and there are days when I yearn for Jesus but cannot seem to find him. Declaring that my household serves the Lord isn't something that we can all declare every single day. There are day when we'll wonder if that's true. There are other days when God might not even show up in our thoughts or conversation. But this declaration can be our prayer: a prayer for God to help us serve. It's a prayer asking God to help us love. This verse from Joshua invites God to keep us mindful of who God is and what God is calling us to be and do. We can't always choose God but we always can lean on this God who, through Christ, chosen us. 


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A Kiss [Sermon Manuscript]

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.

Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Deuteronomy 34

Pastor Marc's sermon on the Fifth Sunday in Lent (March 13, 2016) on Deuteronomy 34. Listen to the recording here or read my manuscript below. 


Since January 1st, we’ve read and heard many different stories from the first five books of the bible. We’ve seen creation, met Abraham, watched Jacob wrestle an angel, and watched as Moses led the people out of slavery. All of this has led to today’s first reading - the final chapter of Deuteronomy. The Israelites are camped on the east bank of the Jordan, ready to enter the land promised to Abraham and to them. After 40 years in the wilderness, they’re finally ready to build a home. But before they can take that next, Moses, their fearless and devoted leader, must do something first. He needs to say goodbye. 

Now, this moment can’t be easy for Moses. Even though Moses, way back in Exodus, begged God to send someone else in his place, he’s now just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from his goal, ever since he left Egypt those many years ago. For over a generation, he’s talked with God, shared God’s word, and negotiated with God and the people even when both sides seemed to turn their backs on each other. Moses has done all he can to prepare the people, to prepare the Israelites, for life after slavery. But even Moses isn’t perfect. Moses, whose face shined after he spoke to God - even he disobeys. His anger and frustration get the better of him. While in the wilderness, when the people complained that they had no water, Moses lashes out and fails to follow God’s word exactly. And so, Moses knows that he’s not going to enter the promised land. Instead, he’s going to take the people to the cusp - to the east bank of the Jordan River - and tell everyone all he can about God’s word and God’s story. But it’s time for Moses to move the nation along. It’s time for the Israelites to outlive Moses once he’s gone. So Moses, his mission complete, climbs up a mountain. He climbs to the top, looks out, and sees everything. He sees all that God promised - to the north and to the south, and he can see the blue tint of the Mediterranean Sea on the horizon. Moses sees everything - and then, “at the Lord’s command,” he dies. 

Now, that phrase, “at the Lord’s command,” is a little different in the ancient Hebrew. The phrase is literally “by the mouth of God.” It’s not a word or phrase that God uses to kill Moses. It’s...God’s mouth. We don’t actually know how this death happens. But there’s an old legend that saw these words and imagines that the close, intimate relationship God had with Moses extends even into death. So God does use the mouth to take Moses. God takes Moses...with a kiss. 

God taking Moses with a kiss seems a little silly...except we know that kisses are powerful things. Kisses are intimate. They’re personal. Kisses are more than little bits of chocolate in the form of a bell. They’re a sign of relationships. Think for a moment, about that first special kiss - and even if we haven’t had that kind of kiss yet, we still know it matters. We know it’s special. Even on a tv show like the Bachelor, where two dozen women will have their first-kiss with this season’s Bachelor broadcast on national tv while they compete for the Bachelor’s engagement ring - even in this assembly line of first-kisses, we know those kisses are still important. Their first kiss, even when it's surrounded by other first kisses, even when we roll our eyes at all the first kissing we see going on, we know, in our gut, that their first kiss symbolizes their relationship to each other. That kiss is a symbol of their possible future, their exciting present, and their hope that this commitment to each other is more than fleeting and for more than just tv ratings. We know that kisses matter because a kiss can be more than just a kiss. A kiss can show love. 

Last week, I co-led a small conversation at the River Vale Public Library on the topic of holy living. My two co-presenters, Rabbi Geary Friedman and Rabbi Deborah Orenstein, and I each took a different area of life and hinted at what holy living looks like through our time, our places, our jobs, and even our bodies. Afterwards, as I reflected on the event, I was struck me how each of us started from a similar place. We all started our exploration of holy living by answering who, and whose, we are. Living a holy life, a godly life, starts with our capacity to be with God - our capacity to be holy. And this capacity, for Christians at least, doesn't depend on our goodness. It doesn't depend on how perfect we are, how often we pray, or how many times we actually make it to church. Our capacity for holiness depends entirely on this God who claims us as God’s own. God doesn’t wait for us to be perfect before God makes us holy. God comes to us first, in our baptism, to hold us. So, when I got to this part of my presentation last week, I shared one of my favorite images for baptism. It begins by imaging God far away, living up in heaven. God’s there, among the clouds, sitting on a throne, with angels and saints doing what it is that angels and saints do. But, in the business of overseeing the entire universe, God looks down. God squints. God sees us - sees you - and sees me - circling on this 3rd planet from the Sun. And then God steps off the throne. God rushes down to us as we are, a baby, a child, even an adult - and God baptizes us with a kiss saying “you are mine.” With a kiss we are claimed. With a kiss, we’re brought into God’s realm. And with a kiss of water, we’re baptized into a relationship we did nothing to earn. With a kiss and a cross, God is ours and we become God’s.

It’s a kiss that starts the relationship - and, in Moses’ case, a kiss that seems to end it. But we know it doesn’t. God picked Moses for a reason. And Moses kept his eye on God for a reason too. Even after Moses broke God’s word, God still told Moses to teach the people. God continued to use Moses to lead the people forward. And even though Moses knew he would never, ever, enter the promised land, Moses didn’t turn his back on God. He kept teaching, praying, and sharing God with everyone he met. God was committed to Moses and Moses was committed to God. Moses came to the edge of the promised land - and he died like he lived, in a full, personal, and committed relationship with the God who claimed him. Once God had Moses, not even death could separate them. 

So how would our lives look if we dug deep into God’s kiss? What, if anything, would be different? 

If I’m honest, I really don’t know the answer to those questions. Whatever answer I prayerfully come up with is going to fit my life, my relationships, and my responsibilities. And I also know that my answers today won’t necessarily match what I might say two or three years from now. Life moves quickly. Situations we never expected can show up on our doorsteps. And time is always moving forward - even if we sometimes feel we’re standing still or taking way too many steps back. As we journey through our own challenges, and through our own wilderness, we don’t always know where we’ll end up. All we know is that things do change - but God’s presence doesn’t. God’s relationship continues. God’s kiss is never ending. God’s kiss is always about starting a new beginning. We might not be Moses but we can be who God is calling us to be. Let’s live into God’s love. Let’s look out and see all that God has promised. Let’s move forward even if we don’t know if we’ll ever see a world of love and peace and hope that God desires for everyone. Let’s live into God’s kiss - right now - and discover just what kind of life we can give to the world. 



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A Reflection on Deuteronomy 34 and the end of the Torah

Our first reading is Deuteronomy 34.

The first five books of the bible, otherwise known at the Torah, begins with the creation of the Earth and ends with today's first reading. Moses, after leading the people out of slavery from Egypt, stands on a mountain overlooking the Promised Land. The Israelites, gathered below, are preparing to cross the Jordan river to begin their settling and conquest of this new land. For 40 years, they wandered the wilderness, with no place to call home. But after tribulations and trials (some they caused, others inflicted on them), a new generation is about to complete what their parents started. Moses' work is complete and he dies. God buries Moses in a place no one else knows, solidifying their relationship and ending any chance that people might worship Moses rather than the God who Moses always pointed to. The Israelites are now, according to the narrative, ready for what comes next. 

So are we ready for what comes next?

Now, I don't necessarily mean ready for what happens when we die, even though "what comes next" can be used in that way. I'm really wondering if we're ready for whatever we have on our mind. It can be as simple as going out to brunch after church with friends to doing yard work to prepare our lawn for Spring. We might be worried about a history test this week, next week, or final exams in May and June. A medical test might be on the horizon or we might be thinking about making a career transition or trying something new. For whatever is on our mind, whatever makes us anxious, are we ready for whatever comes?

Moses dies before he sees the challenges that the Israelites will face. He doesn't know what will happen to them next. His anxiety, which we hear throughout Deuteronomy, is palpable. He is concerned but he's also hopeful. Moses has his faith. He's experienced God active in his life. Moses hasn't been perfect but he knows that he belongs to God and God belongs to him. His relationship with God doesn't remove his anxiety but his relationship with God lets Moses not be defined or limited by his anxiety. The next step in the journey is about to happen. It's time to step into the future with boldness because God is with them.  


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A Reflection on Deuteronomy 6 and Creeds

Our first reading this week is Deuteronomy 6:1-6,20-25.

Every week in worship, after the sermon and the song that follows, we receive a creed. Why? Creeds (as my confirmands have heard me share) are teaching statements. They are formed when communities define not only what they believe but what they teach. As the early Christian church began to grow, communities struggled with what to teach. Through the process leading to baptism (called catechesis), baptismal candidates would memorize creeds as a way of discovering more about what Christianity is about. Creeds don't limit the possibilities of faith or exist as litmus tests for what we need to believe, right now, to be a true follower of Jesus. On Sunday morning, as we recite these translations of creeds written hundreds of years ago, we might be hard pressed to truly believe every part of it. If asked to explain every detail and nuance of what we say, we probably would never give a truly satisfactory answer. The Creeds interact with us, providing a language for our experiences with God and Jesus. They help expand the reality of God instead of limiting it. 

Today's first reading from Deuteronomy includes one of the smallest (and earliest) examples of a creed. Deut 6:4 is a central part of Jewish identity and liturgy. In this short verse, God's identity is affirmed. There is a God who doesn't have partners or siblings or parents like the gods of ancient pagan religions had. There is a God who cares about the universe, the world, and its people and creatures. There is a God who doesn't comfort to only our point of view or understanding. There is a God - and we aren't it. 

If someone asked you what you believed, what would you say? What would your personal statement of faith be? Would it sound like the creed we recited today or maybe a little more like Deuteronomy 6:4? When we dig deep, who is Jesus to you?

This is a question we might not always be able to answer. We have doubts. We have questions. We have experiences that don't match up with the experiences we think faithful Christians are suppose to have. But Jesus is with us. Jesus is here. Jesus is with you. So let's carry this question - and see what God teaches us next.


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Not Fair [Sermon Manuscript]

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Luke 15:1-3,15-34

Pastor Marc's sermon on the 4th Sunday in Lent (March 6, 2016) on Luke 15:1-3,15-34. Listen to the recording here or read my manuscript below. 


Part of the process to become a pastor is to spend some time completing Clinical Pastoral Education - otherwise known as CPE. In some kind of health-setting, we’re asked to serve as a chaplain. So I did. Each morning, I took the A train to Times Square, crossed to Grand Central via the shuttle, jumped on the 6 train uptown for 4 stops before heading east to the New York-Cornell Hospital. Along with a handful of professional chaplains, my seminarian colleagues and I would try to provide spiritual care for the entire complex. Each day, I’d walk into a small hospital room, say hello to someone I’ve never met, and try to discover where their faith is. Some folks were fine. They received a good prognosis and were scheduled to leave the hospital that day. Others were Christian, Jewish, Atheists, Muslim, or Jehovah witness and were excited to talk to someone but not necessarily share their faith. Still more, however, were having terrible days - fearing upcoming surgeries, long hospital stays, or harrowing diagnosis - like cancer. And a few were just silent - stuck in a coma - with their family gathered around them. Part of this process is teaching pastors-in-training how to bring Jesus into a crisis. It doesn’t matter if the person is Christian or if they’re even able to talk. We’re there to bring Jesus - and to discover what healing might actually look like. 

And it’s there, during CPE experience, I learned that healing and being cured are not the same thing. While at the hospital, I saw lots of cures. I met patients who were no longer sick, patients in remission from cancer, and patients who could finally walk again. I met many who left that place with an expectation of healing and being whole. One such patient who was going to be physically fine was a fourteen year old girl. I met her in the pediatric ICU. She had been watching a pickup game at a park basketball court when someone nearby fired a gun - and the stray bullet hit her in the cheek. The surgeries to remove the bullet and repair the damage were successful. She was, eventually, going to be physically fine. When I first met her, she couldn’t speak - a temporary issue during this stage of her recovery. Instead, she communicated to me and her family by writing on a little white board - or sending text messages with her phone. 

One day, near the end of her short stay in the ICU, I walked into her room and met her parents. I had met her mother before but not the father. Her parents were divorced and...they really didn’t get along. They actively despised each other. I never fully understood why - but the love they shared was long gone and only bitterness and anger remained. One would sit against one wall in the room, the other would sit on the other side - and they would just bicker and fight the whole time. I was there, communicating via whiteboard with their daughter, and the snide comments and outright hostility the parents had with each other covered the entire room. Both parents knew their daughter was going to be cured. She was going to recover and, before they knew it, she’d be hanging by the basketball court like nothing happened. With the initial, terrifying crisis over - their old habits kicked in. The old arguments continued. The broken relationship surrounded her and covered her in noise and emotion. That 14 year old was going to be cured but I didn’t know if she would be healed.

Today’s story from the gospel of Luke is full of relationships. A son, young and impulsive, goes to his father and asks for his inheritance early. This son has the guts to ask for his father to act like he’s dead - and just give his money away. The son doesn’t care if his father or the family might need the money later to cover some emergency or problem. The son wants it now.  And the father does the ridiculous thing and actually gives it to him. So with this large amount of cash at his disposal, the son does what we might do: he totally squanders it. He spends it on a very wild nightlife. Before long, he’s broke. He’s got nothing. He can’t even get enough money from his work to get food. Hungry, broke, and miserable, he decides to head home. He dreams up a conversation with his dad - a speech to get his dad to bring him back into fold but not, initially, as a son. Instead, he wants to be a hired hand - receiving a salary from his father even though he’s already squandered his father’s wealth. But the son never gets to give his speech. His father sees him, runs to him, and once he gets his arms around his son, the father just won’t let go. 

Now, there’s an elder brother in the picture too. He finds out what’s going on and he’s furious. The younger brother, who squandered his wealth, is back - and is having a party celebrating his return. And I think buried under the outrage of the elder son’s comment about the catering for such an event, comes a deeper concern. With his younger brother back in the picture, the elder’s son’s inheritance splits. The brother who ran off isn’t only going to get his original share - he’s going to get a piece of the elder’s share too. In his anger, in his bitterness, in his spite, the elder brother addresses his father. And look what he says. Look at the words he uses. He never calls the son who returned, his brother. It’s always his “father’s son.” I remember doing the same thing, when I complained to my parents about something my identical twin brother did - which is downright silly because, when you’re an identical twin, it’s obvious who your brother is. The elder son is just as silly here. But his anger - his frustration - and his fear - is very real. 

So how does his father respond? He says that all that he has belongs to the elder son. He says they had to celebrate because “your brother, your brother who treated his family like they were dead, has returned.” The father points the elder son back to his younger brother. He wants them reconciled. He wants them together. He wants the old grudges, the old arguments, that anger that interrupts the actual living of our lives - the father wants all of that gone. The cure was the younger son’s return but making peace with their past, making peace with their present, and reconciling themselves to each other - that’s what healing looks like.
And that kind of healing takes grace. It’s takes a God who says that we’re worth more than what’s been done to us. We’re worth more than the hurt we’ve caused. Our pain, our fear, that illness, or anxiety, or secret that we think no one else knows - none of that will have the final word. Brokenness doesn’t define us. The wholeness given by Jesus does. This Jesus, who didn’t limit himself to only offering cures so we can go back to living the way we always did, instead, this Jesus brings those he touches back into relationship with those around them. Family, friends, neighbors - and even people we don’t want to be in relationship with, like our younger brother after he comes back from squandering his part of the inheritance - reconciliation is the name of the game. It’s what Jesus grants us when he claims us as his own in our baptism. It’s what God grants us when we’re asked to say hello to a stranger and discover just what their need is. And it’s what the Spirit graces us when we’re in crisis, hurting, and surrounded by a brokenness that might never heal. Healing happens in our relationships - our relationships with those closest to us, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with our God. We might never receive the cure we want. The brokenness we see and experience might just be the ways things are. But our reconciliation begins with Jesus - a Jesus who claims us because our hurts aren’t the limit of what God can do. And whatever the future might bring - Jesus has us - we have Jesus - and nothing can take that from us. 



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