Word for Word

The Prodigal Parable

Meditation for the fourth Sunday of Lent

Luke 15:11-31

Lent is not about our willpower to 'give up' or 'take on' something for forty days.  It is about our own dying and rising into who we are as God's Beloved.  It is about waking up to who we are as children of the living God.  And what a wonderful story of transformation we find in our gospel lesson for the fourth Sunday in Lent: the parable of the prodigal son.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

Meditation for the third Sunday of Lent

Luke 13:1-9

In many marginalized communities, the notion of "repentance" may have become a dirty word since it has often been used as a spiritual whipping post.  After all, there does exist the tendency of any dominant culture to demand repentance from those who they deem have behaved in a way that is not in alignment with their interpretation of "God's will."  As such, GLB people have been told to repent of their sexual behavior; homeless people have been told that they should repent because their circumstances are their own fault; transgender people have been told to repent of their turn from the gender that God gave them; women who have had abortions have been forced to repent of their killing of a child; and on and on we could go.  But as usual, in this parable, Jesus invites us to turn this whole idea on its head.

The Transfiguration

Meditation for the second Sunday of Lent

Luke 9:28-36

The season of Lent always brings me fond memories.  On one hand, the ritualistic experience of the religious community in which I grew up practiced, to some extent, exaggerated penitence such that it even required us to stop listening to music or watching television during the 40 days and even to stop bathing during the Holy days.  Yet on the other hand, I also experienced the most liberating seasons of Lent with my parents.  While I still lived in their house, they never imposed the demands of the church.  Instead, they taught us that Lent was a season of re-commitment to all humanity.  They taught us to share what little we had with those who were less fortunate than us.  This was at times something that was complicated yet very enlightening, because we were always members of the lower middle economic class.  I am convinced that it is through them that I learned that I had to return to the Christ in our brothers and sisters.  It was through my parents that I learned that losing myself and my life in the struggle for justice and solidarity, for the truth and the life, for the respect for the rights of all, is what gives meaning to being human and Christian.

The Gift of Temptation

Meditation for the first Sunday of Lent

Luke 4 1-13

Modern Christians, from the pew to the seminary classroom, love to debate whether the "devil" is real or just an ancient myth.  We all know the popular images, from Flip Wilson's "The devil made me do it" to the ubiquitous presence in contemporary advertising and culture of a red-suited, pitch-fork carrying, forked-tailed, sulpher-breathing creature, selling everything up to and including potted meat products, which have seriously trivialized and may have almost obscured the reality with which Jesus battled in the desert.

True Fasting - Lenten Meditation

Isaiah 58:1-12

Lent is the season of the Christian Year that covers the period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.  The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare the believer for the experience of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up some favorite thing, either as a form of penitence or in imitation of the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry.

The Thorn In My Side Is Not Being Gay...

by Reverend Pressley Sutherland

The Apostle Paul once wrote that he had a ‘mysterious’ thorn in his side that he struggled with inside himself. I think this is one of those places where many people can identify with Paul, and most of us think we are the only ones struggling with our particular thorn. Because of our individual circumstances, we believe that others do not go through what we go through. We keep the ‘thorn’ deep inside convinced that no one else will understand.

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Good Hope MCC is an inclusive Christian Community in Cape Town, South Africa. Whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender:
You are made in God's image and are welcome at our Church!