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5 August Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God!

Nahum 2:8, 10a: Are you better than Thebes

   that sat by the Nile,

with water around her,

   her rampart a sea,

   water her wall? 

Yet she became an exile,

   she went into captivity.

How could I be seduced by power when I am the source of power? And yet for millenia people have preached the false message that if a nation is powerful, it is because I have blessed it. The only thing that is true is that every empire that exploited people and practiced cruelty has collapsed under its own weight. My blessing rains down on communities of compassion and care. Today I ask you to pray for nations that seem great but do evil, that they might find their way back to me, to compassion and care.

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Liberating Love Video Devotion 8/2

To celebrate the launch of the Liberating Love Devotional this month, every day features a reading of that day’s devotion by an amazing spiritual leader. Today, the Rev. Tuhina Rasche, a powerful ELCA pastor who currently serves as Minister of Small Groups for University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto, CA.

Also, consider coming to celebrate the book launch at our Spiritual Spa book launch party on September 1, 5pm pacific/7pm central/8pm eastern! RSVP today. <3

August 1 Video Devotion, Natalie Chamberlain!

In order to celebrate the fact that Liberating Love Devotional drops officially on August 4 (buy a copy here and support a great publisher), every day of August gifted religious leaders are sharing videos of them reading each day’s devotion. Today is the gifted pastor of Hilton Christian Church in Virginia, who has cheered on this project since Day One!

29 July Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God!

Amos 5:15 Hate evil and love good,

   and establish justice in the gate;

it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,

   will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 

One of my children once said, “justice is what love looks like in public.” It pleases my heart when my children create systems that allow people to be treated with dignity and worth. I value charity, but I want for you a world where you do not have to rely on charity because your community is governed by justice. Today I invite you to reflect on how your community could better establish justice in the gate, that I might be invited in to extend grace.

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22 July Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God, as imagined by Sandhya! Today’s is from Sandhya’s favorite book of the Bible, the book of James. Whispered to be written by Jesus’ brother, and nearly eliminated from the biblical canon for being “too Jewish,” this book guides the church in how to be radically inclusive of people on the margins.

James 2:1-4 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

My way is simple but not easy. And in a world that values money and status, my way is also counter-cultural. Look around your community. Are the gifts of people who don’t have high status valued in your community? Do they have the same positions of responsibility and authority? Are they helping shape the direction of your community? If not, then today I invite you to pray for guidance on how to help your community align better with my way. And if so, offer up prayers for diligence in staying on my path when the world so badly wants to pull you off of it.

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15 July Liberating Love Devotion

Until the full Liberating Love Devotional comes out this fall from Chalice Press, I hope you enjoy these weekly love notes from God!

Isaiah 43:8-9 Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,

   who are deaf, yet have ears! 

Let all the nations gather together,

   and let the peoples assemble.

Who among them declared this,

   and foretold to us the former things?

Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,

   and let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’ 

Sometimes when my children do not conform to societal norms, their wisdom and gifts are ignored. This passage reminds you to pay attention to my children who are differently abled. And it reminds you to pay attention to the parts of you that society wants to hide–they may be the way I’m trying to speak through you. Honor the people around you who do not meet society’s norms, and honor the parts of you that do not meet society’s norms. They speak to my magnificence in ways that the dominant culture never will.

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8 July Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God!

Colossians  4:5-6 Conduct yourselves wisely towards outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. 

The church in Colossae struggled with wanting to honor people who didn’t worship Jesus while still staying true to their own beliefs and practices. My children today could learn a lot from what this letter reminded them: to treat everyone in a way that reflects grace and is rich in flavor, and to remember that if I have called you to do this to people who aren’t part of your community, you should do likewise with your own family, even in the midst of disagreement and tension. Today, reflect on how your community’s treatment of those around you could reflect my values of grace and preservation.

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