By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Water flows through our ancient Judeo-Christian texts. Righteousness pours down like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24), and Jesus offers relief to those who thirst (John 4:13–15). Before whales or eagles or humans did, God dwelt among the waters (Gen 1). The creation of heaven and earth commenced through a parting of the seas. Rains fell, destroying all creatures except those aboard an ark, awaiting a rainbow covenant that promised an end to the waters of judgment (Gen 9:11–17). The Israelites flee from their oppressors to freedom through the miracle of a parting sea that offered safe passage from empire into the wilderness (Exod 14). In the Gospels, Jesus was baptized into the wildness of the river Jordan (Mark 1:9f), became living water at the well (John 4), and shed tears over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). From the beginning, water has offered a call to discipleship. Continue reading
Fresh buds on Tiger Mountain
By Sue Ferguson Johnson and Wes Howard-Brook
“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.” (Mk 9.2)
It has been a long, wet, grey, dark winter so far here in the Issaquah Creek watershed. While we have been spared the intense cold and massive snowfalls visited upon our sisters and brothers to the east, the relentless “parade of storms” from the Pacific Ocean (as local weatherfolk like to call it) can wear away at even the most committed pluviophile. Continue reading
Photo credit: NASA
By Camen Retzlaff
Sometimes I am asked why the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible, says that we should “fear” God, who is love. Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
“Have you not known, have you not heard?” says God in Isaiah this week. It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. We, the inhabitants of this planet, are like grasshoppers. God stretches a curtain of heaven for us, as a tent. God is reassuring here: this defeat, this moment in history, this war is not the big story. The story is so much bigger. God brings princes to naught and makes rulers of the earth like dead plants blown in the wind. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 8:4-6, 8
As to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as in fact there are many gods and many lords– yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
“Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
By David Pritchett
Fireflies and Feathers: Two Kinds of Farming
The summer of 2012 was hot in the Midwest. By the fourth week of temperatures over 90 degrees, and over two months without rain, the grass was brown and our crops in Northeastern Indiana were not faring any better. Continue reading
My late father, on our traditional Nisga’a fishing territory. Photo credit Tanya Stanley, summer 2011.
Mark 1: 16-18
By: Jeffery Stanley
May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable unto you, Oh God our rock and Redeemer.
“As Jesus passed along the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them ‘follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately, they left their nets and followed him.”
In the days of Jesus of Nazareth it was the custom for teachers to gather their students from the people of any community and lead them as a company from place to place as they taught. He (a teacher) would from time to time, talk to people and share truths with them. Certain students would be attracted to him and would come to listen to him from time to time. Sometimes they would linger at some favorable spot for awhile and persons would join them to listen and often respond to the message. Gutzke, Manford George. “Plain talk on Mark” pp. 18 Continue reading
Womb 2 Kovil BG Photo Credit: Fillipov Ivo, Creative Commons
Epiphany, Year B
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
By Ragan Sutterfield
E. Stanley Jones once wrote that if there is an instinct in the human heart to conceal there is also a deeper instict to reveal” (Victory Through Surrender). And yet, our culture keeps from authentic disclosure. We are invited, instead, to a kind of performative exposure, a way of revealing that also hides. We want to be known and seen but we do not trust those who might see us. We are afraid of what might happen if we are known, fully, authentically. So we manufacture disclosure on Facebook, hoping that in the commiseration of comments or praise of likes we will achieve what we are afraid to risk through a real openness. It is disclosure at the surface rather than at the depths.
By Valarie Luna Serrels
There’s a story in Greek mythology about Kairos, the young, swift god of opportunity, with wings on his feet. When he passes by you, it’s too late to grab hold of said opportunity. However, in the wake of Kairos’ fleeting journey, stands the sorrowful goddess Metanoia. She invites those passed by with opportunity for reflection, mourning, and space to make a decision. An urgent decision. Metanoia literally means change. A changed mind, heart, behavior, life. Continue reading