Being Changed by Encountering the Divine

We’ve heard over the last four weeks the gospel readings about Jesus’ baptism, where he was revealed as God’s beloved son; Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana; Jesus announcing his mission as bringing good news to the poor; and Jesus encountering...

Taking the Side of Love

Last week we heard the story of Jesus’ first visit to his hometown synagogue after his baptism.  Jesus had already achieved a bit of fame for his teaching in other synagogues throughout Galilee.  And now he makes his homecoming to Nazareth.  There’s a heightened...

A Surprise Birthday Party

The setting for the gospel (Luke 4: 14-21) is that Jesus has been baptized and gone on a 40-day retreat in the wilderness, and now his public ministry is just beginning. He’s benn doing a teaching tour of synagogues in Galilee, and now Jesus is in Nazareth, his...

Rethinking Water into Wine

If you’ve been following the Gospel readings in the lectionary from week to week, you may find that today’s Gospel—the wedding at Cana, a town near Nazareth—catches us a bit off guard.  Christmas was not even a month ago, and images of the infant Jesus are still fresh...

Baptism in water and the Spirit

Today’s readings mention different kinds of baptism – baptism in water, and baptism in the Holy Spirit. In the passage from Acts it says that the new Christians in Samaria were baptized (presumably with water) “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” but that they hadn’t...

Epiphany: The Radiant Oneness of God

Today is the first day after Christmas.  That may sound a bit strange for some, but it’s important to remember that Christmas is a season of 12 days, not just one day.  Immediately following Christmas is the Feast of the Epiphany, which we celebrate today.  When the...