In times of fear and uncertainty, as human beings, we tend to tighten our circle smaller, draw lines in the sand, create rules and laws that make it clear who is in and who is out—with increasingly severe penalties for those who question, for those who push the boundaries or disobey. In our history, both in the scripture and in our religious tradition we have done both: tightened the circle and drawn the circle wider. The prophets called people to deeper faithfulness and then pointed out where their faith excluded and harmed others. Jesus as we will see through the gospel texts was constantly pushing the boundaries of who was accepted, who was loved who received the grace of God. Paul did the same through his letters.
At Easter the disciples closed and locked the door and hid in fear until Jesus appears, offers them peace and then sends them out to proclaim the love and grace of God. At Pentecost, the church itself is birthed through the power of the Holy Spirit which begins to draw the circle wider.
From the moment when the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus, the circle began to increase its diameter. First to those of the Jewish tradition, then to Gentiles where Paul notes in Christ there is no male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free, all belong in an ever expanding circle. Like a pebble in the water, the circle becomes circles reaching out further until there is no lines at all, no outside of the circle, only inside where all are embrace and included by the love and grace of God. Join us in June for, “Draw the Circle Wide”.
“Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song: no one stands alone. Standing side by side, draw the circle wide, draw the circle wide.” – Gordon Light
June 9 Pentecost
“Ripples of Empowerment”
Acts 2: 1-8, 11b-21, John 14: 8-17
June 16 Father’s Day
“Ripples of Faith”
Romans 8: 14-17, Luke 7: 1-10
“Ripples of Grace”
Romans 5: 1-5, Luke 7: 36 -8:3
“Ripples of New Beginnings”
Galatians 3: 23-29, Luke 8: 26-39
“Ripples of Choice”
Galatians 5: 1, 13-15, Luke 9: 51-62
“Ripples of Hospitality”
Galatians 5: 22-25, Luke 10: 25-37