26 August Liberating Love Devotion

In addition to being able to purchase the Liberating Love Devotional through Chalice Press, you’ll still find your weekly love note from God right here every Wednesday!

Galatians 4:13-14 You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.

My son Paul really understood that my power looks nothing like human power, which has always made it so hard for humans to fully trust. I show up alongside the people that this world rejects. My power is made manifest through a people who had been enslaved by a cruel empire. My power is made manifest through a woman whom I made a judge over men in a time women had no power. My power is made manifest through my Son who was murdered by a government because his message of love and inclusion were such a threat to their rule of tyrrany and conquest. And my power was made manifest in the early church through the teachings of a man with a disability who did not hide himself or his disability but said “If you embrace me in my weakness, you embrace God who is building a movement of people who are weak by the world’s standards but strong in compassion and love, which is real power.” Today, I invite you to ask whether and how you hide your vulnerabilities, and I invite you to pray for help finding the community that will care for you as the Galatians cared for Paul.

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19 August Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God!

Exodus 22:25-27 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbour’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbour’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbour cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.

There are many sayings in your sacred texts that people have debated for millennia. There is, however, one thing I wish my children could understand is always my wish: that you would not exploit each other’s struggles and suffering. Today I ask you to imagine: what might your world look like if you were all able to slow down enough to learn the cause of people’s debts and sufferings and find a way forward that would not result in people ending up back in the hard place where they started?

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12 August Liberating Love Devotion

Your weekly love note from God!

Mark 8:34-35 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

There is a question my children have begun asking each other in this generation that brings me joy: “Do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive?” My Son reminded his followers that the effort of protecting oneself from potential harm cost people the chance of really exploring the beauty of this world and all the people in it. By taking risks, by living for others, by pursuing a life like that of my Son, generations have found freedom and joy that they never would have if they had sought simply to survive. How will you take a risk, be vulnerable, live for others, and follow my Son today so that you may actually have life abundantly?

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Book Launch videos all month! Today: Rev. Israel Alvaran

Rev. Izzy is an AMAZING pastor and preacher and organizer, and he took time to record today’s devotion to help promote a word of encouragement in the form of Liberating Love Devotional, available this month from Chalice Press! Enjoy today’s devotion, consider buying a copy, and come to the book launch on September 1

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. ❤

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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