When we are searching for meaning, searching for the sacred, the
holy, searching for life abundant, we would do well to remember
Zechariah. That said, our spiritual search does not always
lead down an easy path, sometimes taking us to places we never
intended to go and that turn out to be quite difficult. We
need God’s help, just as Zechariah and Elizabeth did.
God probably has plenty of reasons to be angry with us; yet
instead, God continually works for peace, justice and mercy in
our human lives. When we have completely failed, God brings
comfort and challenges us to start again: every day is a fresh
start with God.
Ubuntu is an idea present in African spirituality– the essence of
being human. We are all connected. You can’t exist as a human
being in isolation. We cannot be ourselves without community;
health and faith are always lived out among others, an
individual’s well being is caught up in the well-being of others.
Practicing our faith can be a vigorous workout. When Paul
writes to the Christians in Thessalonike, he is encouraging them
to not get too lethargic in their faith practice, but rather to
live out their convictions with energy and vitality.
Generosity is the habit of giving without expecting anything in
return. It can involve offering time, assets or talents to
aid someone in need or to a cause that warms our hearts and
fulfills our call to be the Risen Christ in our world.
We are all prone to worship shiny things. It takes
intention and determination to consistently remember God’s claim
on our lives. Simply recognizing and naming our idol is a
first step. Working to move away from shiny things and
toward God’s desires for us is the next step. Recognizing
our need for God when we weaken is a third step.
God’s nudges toward love over judgment are realized or denied by
the quality of our relationships. Are we willing to be in
relationship with God’s diverse creation, including all the
amazing ways that humanity is expressed?
The past helps us to remember where we have been, helps us to
avoid rough seas, trains us not to get swamped by life’s
demands. A lot of good can come from looking backwards as
long as it is only looking and reflecting and not holding fast to
shore and going nowhere.
…we call upon each other to be “good Samaritans” to the worker
who is being abused and taken advantage of for the benefit of
greedy corporate interests, those that would just as soon walk on
by the injured worker as to lend the needed aid. Jesus
could not have been clearer about what we are supposed to be
That sense of hopefulness and optimism is where today’s scripture
lesson and popular song point us. Paul reminds us that hope
does not disappoint because of God’s love is being poured into
us—not just once, but constantly and steadfastly.
Our faith—our church, our God—calls on us to embrace each other
as sisters and brothers in peace and justice, not in hatred and
fear. In doing so, people of faith must step up to create
laws that foster community and support civility rather than
accept evils laws created by cynics and power-mongers.
Don’t ever give up on dreams. What dream might you have
today? If you were laying down under that orange sky next
to Jacob, what dream might come? Where is reconciliation
needed? What deep need can be filled? What
life-giving assurance can be provided? What is your dream
Nevertheless, love and marriage go together so that one life will
be enriched and nurtured with another in a spirit of agape and
mutuality: love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared
fidelity through the grace of our ever-benevolent God.