In collaboration with our neighbors at Valley & Mountain, we enter into the season of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) with this meditative service including prayer, reflection, and the imposition of ashes. Lent is traditionally a season of entering more deeply into the spiritual practices of contemplation, generosity, prayer, and self-discipline. Join the community of Hope this year in this sacred exploration.
Love your Enemies?!
This is the last week in our series on Jesus’ sermon on the mount, as we reflect on the section Matthew 5:38-48 where Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This is also the text for The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous sermon on Loving Your Enemies in which Dr. King insisted that “Jesus is not an impractical idealist: he is the practical realist.” In our discussion group on that sermon, we’ve debated not so much the why but the HOW. When people are trying to harm you, endanger those you love, threaten your deepest core values and the world you share: how do you love them? And will it really work? Dr. King and Jesus believed in the redemptive power of love, “the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
Do we trust that it will work?
How will we put it into practice?
Who are your enemies, and how do you pray for them?
In the 3rd week in our series studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, our reflection this week is based onMatthew 5:21-37and a text from the Hebrew Scriptures, Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Both of these texts reflect on the meaning and purpose of law. In biblical terms, the law is always a “gift to strengthen community by orienting us to the needs of our neighbor.” How do we understand the role of laws in our lives today, especially as the three branches of US government tussle daily on the front pages of the news over the creation, enforcement, and morality of our laws? With growing awareness and critical thinking about how we relate to laws today, a biblical understanding of law can help us ask good questions.
Between children and their parents, citizens and their government, people of faith and their God:
What confers authority?
Who benefits (and who suffers) in following the “letter of the law”?
When should and how authority be resisted?
One of our priorities in 2017 for Church of Hope is that we explore together spirituality that matters, bringing our whole selves, doubts and questions, struggles and all. As a community, we are here for each other in hard times and turn to each other when we are hurting. Our spirituality values honest questions and diversity of beliefs and experiences.
. “You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt were to lose its flavor?...You are the light of the world.” Jesus doesn’t say that you should be salt and light, but that you are.Matthew 5:13-20As we enter in Black History Month and the chaos of the second week of the Trump Administration, we continue our series with the second of four weeks on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This week we reflect on
What does it mean to be salt and light in a world that is in such desperate need of hope and justice?
Today we celebrated and gave thanks for the gift of being a Reconciling in Christ community, and for the gift of so many people here in this community of different gender identities and sexual orientations who have chosen to be a part of Church of Hope.