Lent can be a difficult time to engage in hospitality. Perhaps you agonize over what to give up for the season. Should I drop Facebook or shut down Netflix, or both? Should I fast from certain kinds of food or food altogether? If you’re like me, this decision sneaks up so fast, there is no time to agonize before Lent is upon you and you keep saying, “Let me think about this for a few more days.” But once a decision is made you find yourself in the company of others. This company may be observing Lent, too, but remembering Jesus’ admonition not to appear to be fasting when you fast (Matt 6:16-18), you don’t disclose the fact. This can be tough, especially when you’re invited to someone’s home on Friday when they are serving meat and dairy. Continue reading
Welcome to the season of Eastertide! In the coming weeks, the Church will be seeing herself anew in the arms of the resurrected Jesus! Eastertide is a time of identifying ourselves as the people of the resurrection. Throughout this season, the Revised Common Lectionary replaces Old Testament readings with readings from the Acts of the Apostles. Upon reading the texts above, you may notice two seemingly disparate themes. The Psalm and Acts passages seem to harmonize about the unity of Christian fellowship while the John passage is speaking of Jesus appearing to his disciples after the resurrection. They hinge that hold these themes together is found in Acts 4:33, “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” The passage goes on to tell of the unity of the new believers, implying that Christian fellowship and the giving witness to the resurrection go hand in hand. As we sojourn throughout this season, pay attention to the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection. He goes to great lengths to both appear to them but also to prove the physicality of his resurrected body. Consider His words to Thomas regarding those who have not seen yet believe. Jesus also tells his disciples that he is sending them as the Father had sent Him. The resurrection of Christ is not only for our benefit but to the benefit to those who have yet to hear of it.