Last Sunday we contemplated this famous Rembrandt painting, a depiction of the Prodigal Son. Like the younger son in the story, what is our view of home, and the refuge we come back to? Our imagination about the safety of home will determine if we believe we will be shamed when we response - no matter how big our mess-up was. Or whether we will be welcomed with grace and arms open wide like the Father in the parable, and in this painting. In a scandalous way - as Christ tells the story he is pointing the radical nature of forgiveness and inclusiveness in God's Kingdom. God's Love lavishes those on the "outs", and is ultimately restorative, not shrinking us or shaming us into hiding. God prepares the best seat at the table for God's children, and it is with that confidence we should continue to approach God.
By: Pastor Wendy Hu-Au
We may feel small, but we are seeds, not pebbles. The Kingdom of God is a reality where there is abundance and all people have what they need. It is a place where all people have dignity and are empowered to create.
Matthew 13:31-32, the parable of the mustard seed, is a word of encouragement to Jesus' followers that though they may feel small and insignificant in the face of empire, they are indeed seeds of the kingdom.
This word applies to us today. When we as modern day followers or people at MetroHope feel small in the face of suffering and injustice in our world, this word is for us. The mustard seed reminds us that we are the seed and the tree of this just and loving kingdom.
By: Pastor José Humphreys
We're doing a series on the parables at our church. Three things came out for me in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus didn't want to get caught up in people's selectivity about neighbor but attached a movement-oriented qualifier to the concept of neighbor.
If the gospels were a silent film how would the gospel speak in a world that places such a premium on words? Jesus placed a primacy on action when it comes to how we see and become a neighbor.
On Sunday we had a powerful service, the Spirit took a hold of us. Our time of singing and celebration was Spirit-filled. We didn't bother to pass the peace, but I jumped into a short version of my sermon (see below). The title was: Wonderfully Made. We are living in stressful and uncertain times. With each new headline, with each divisive and discouraging report, our souls and our bodies can grow weary. These words are literally spoken over us, taking on "flesh", and creating daily realities of hopelessness, depression and trauma. When God speaks, God speaks a word through our bodies, reminding us that we are fearfully made, knit together in our mothers wombs. Our presence in the world tells us a story: We don't have to be trapped in our trauma, or even trapped in the story of race. But our bodies communicate a story of the image of God in the world. A powerful presence that gets to join God in telling the story of a whole gospel. God creates us in all of our differences to the world back to our wonderful Creator.