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The Weekly Devotionals
This week’s devotional is all about what we want but don’t have. As we look at the story of Rachel and Leah (primarily Genesis 29 -30) see if there is anything in their story that you can relate to, especially when it comes to the way culture shapes our expectations and self-image.
When we look at the story of these two women, what parallels can you make to your own striving for more? How do you feel not enough? Pay attention to your own thoughts and emotions this week, and see if anything comes up for you.
Our reading ends with God expelling humans from the perfect garden, forcing our subsistence as we toil for our food and livelihood. In many ways, this is the beginning of the story of our redemption — it is our prodigal moment, the beginning of our loop back to God.
Genesis 12-13; 15-18; 20-21
Have you ever felt forgotten by God? Does God renege on promises? Is it possible that, as we go through life, we miss God’s work in our lives because we are focused on the stuff we’re not getting?
This week, we’re going to look closely at the story of Sarah, mother of the Hebrew faith, wife to Abraham, mother of Isaac, and woman of God. We’ll examine this idea of promises delayed and promises fulfilled. And we’ll remember Sarah for who she was — a woman who was betrayed by her own husband more than once, who felt forgotten, and who made mistakes, but a woman for whom God showed up anyway.
The Personal Essays
I was expecting to meet Jesus in places I didn't expect -- I just didn't expect it to be so soon. I’d boldly read the words to Nicole Nordeman’s song Dear Me when I closed the Sunday gathering … “And you can not imagine all the places you’ll see Jesus… But you’ll find him everywhere you thought He wasn't supposed to go… ”
I’d had the song on repeat for days now and it was messing with me in ways that only God can do…
I’m not new to rustling the patriarchal feathers of Biblical tradition, but that doesn’t make it less uncomfortable. Still, sometimes it feels like you’re about to drop an atom bomb on your own community, like you’re about to say something that will blow the top off some age-old beliefs held dear.
That’s sort of what this feels like, what I’m about to write here. It felt so dangerous that I had to do a Google search to see if I was the first one to ever think it. Turns out, I’m not. But that doesn’t make the realization any less seismic for me. But we’ll get to that in a moment. Let me first, and finally, get to the point:
Father Abraham was a pimp, and Sarah was his chattel.
There is a mystical juiciness we can access whenever we enter the realm of creation stories. These stories ask us to contemplate our origins; they speculate about the creative powers that originated us, our world our cosmos. And, of course, in spinning these tales, the authors themselves engage in a creative act. The human imagination that creates a story about creation enters into that self-same creative mystery!
Tips For Progressive Christians
I’ll be honest. It’s been a little bit of a sucky week. It’s been one of those weeks when you might start to think that maybe you were the kind of person who has an electric current that runs through your body and breaks things. That’s what my husband says about me, anyway.
We all have our own special perch on the privilege ladder; as a white, straight, cis-gendered American-born woman, I’m pretty much one step down from the top of the heap. So while I experience some marginalization, I still have a lot of privilege, and with that comes a lot of responsibility and a lot of power. How can I use that power for good, especially when I want to be an ally to those who are more marginalized than me, like my black, Muslim, or gay friends?
We've all experienced it -- the social media flurry of combative statements, over-generalizations, and heated arguments. Probably, you've already been unfriended by a person or two. Social justice is important to you, but Jesus told us that peacemakers are blessed -- so how do we stand up for what for what we believe, and still be the peacemaker that Jesus calls blessed?
This week's opportunity is a little different -- it's not a non-profit, but rather a business. I'm all for supporting small, woman-owned businesses, especially ones that have a mission and higher purpose to serve the world. Chidimma Ozor and Sseko Designs fit the bill. Here's what Chidimma (aka "The Type A Hippie") has to say:
There are over 60 million missing girls in India.
They were either aborted before birth, killed once born, died of neglect just because they were girls, trafficked, or given away in child marriage. This abuse stems from a systemic, centuries-old disregard of the value of women. Rescue Pink works to change this through rescue, prevention, and awareness.
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