“One Simple Word”

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With one simple word you can dismiss a person’s words, undercut their protests, question their insights, or slander their name. With one word you can label them as a misfit, a rebel, a daydreamer. Or worse: delusional, feebleminded, or incompetent.
All you have to do is call them … crazy!

“Welcomed into the Family”

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But it wasn’t only the Celts who used Trinitarian language. Paul did too, and we hear it in his letter to the Christians gathered in Rome. In our passage he makes a striking claim: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God,” and then, “When we cry out ‘Abba, Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God … joint heirs with Christ!”

“Like a Motherless Child”

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If the Ascension was a musical … the disciples, staring up at the sky, might have found themselves singing something like the plaintive, slavery-era spiritual, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child … a long, long way from home.”

“Can I get a Witness?”

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What are we to make of the current rallies/protests/marches (call them what you like) that seem to spring up like dandelions?
Are they a faithful extension of what has gone on in the past? Are they guided by the Holy Spirit? Are they a witness?

“Tangible Proof”

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The disciples watched from a distance, but they could not back far enough away to escape the sound of the nails being driven in; his writhing fingers and clenched fists; his ragged breathing and blood; the shouts of the crowd, Jesus’ final words. It was painful. It was pitiful. And then he died.
That was the last image they had of him. His body limp, torn, bloody, and bruised. His hands and feet wounded by the nails. His side gashed. Dead.

“An Abrupt Ending?”

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This is no Sidd Finch story; no April Fool’s joke, but Mark’s version is hard to swallow. The resurrection should be a triumph, but he ends his account with the women running away, too afraid to tell anyone what they have seen. In fact, his gospel ends mid-sentence. A literal translation reads, “To no one anything they said; afraid they were for …”

“An Intense Sacrifice”

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If they want to see him, a selfie, an autographed glossy, or a face to face chat will not be enough. He wants to give them as clear and lasting a picture of who he is as he can … and to do that, metaphor will have to do what our eyes cannot.

“An Intense Conversation”

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Admittedly it was a strange story, but every time it was told the listener could feel …
the sting of the fiery snakebites;
the desperation of being trapped in a landscape of wriggling serpents;
and their powerlessness to save themselves.
It was at that moment that the storyteller would look them in the eye and ask whether their own sin burned like a snakebite …