"Schooled By Grace" - Luke 10:38-42

Text: Luke 10: 38-42

Synopsis: Martha, frustrated with her sister Mary, tells Jesus to tell Mary to help her in the kitchen. While this story seems to stick in the craw of Type A folks (and rightly so), this is not a story about freeloaders vs. hard-workers. This is a story about Mary, who chooses get schooled by the Rabbi Jesus, even though, in that culture, woman belonged in the kitchen not in the classroom. This act of social overstep is praised by Jesus and share with not Martha, not to her shame but to her inclusion. Jesus schools Martha by inviting her to join Mary and the men as they all learn together at the feet of the Teacher.

Keywords: Jesus, hospitality, education, gender equality, women, inclusion, honor/shame culture, spiritual formation, Sunday School

"Keep the Party Going" - John 2:1-11


Jesus comes to bring joy and honor to humanity. In the wedding feast, not only does he allow the celebration to continue, he covers the potential shame of the host who has run out of wine. A flourishing faith life is not about obligation or regulation, but rather is about learning to lean into God’s goodness by living with radical hospitality in all of our relationships across cultural, identity, and gender divisions.

"Stranger Gifts" - Matthew 2:1-12


Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Synopsis: Epiphany is a season of discover and illumination. In Epiphany people begin to realize who Jesus is and God became flesh. These strangers from the East arrive with even stranger gifts for the newborn king. The gifts perhaps symbolize the trifold calling of Jesus as prophet, priest, and king. Gold fit for a king; frankincense offered by priests; myrrh to embalm the body of a slain prophet; strange, but illuminating gifts for the little king offered by strangers from a strange land.

Keywords: Epiphany, calling, vocation, ministry, grace, surprises, strangers.