Here are the match ups for Day 1 of Week 2 of our Holy (March Madness). At the end of this week only 16 people will remain!
2) Nadia Bolz-Weber – from a sermon titled If Jesus Was Your Preacher
And when he opens his mouth to speak, it’s as though there is something both common and melodic about his voice. A voice that is as familiar as the sound of our own heartbeats. A song we had forgotten and yet still know by heart. Maybe, just maybe, our Lord would say something like, The Spirit of the Lord has anointed him to bring good news to the poor. To bring gifts of fine wine and rich food to those who exist only on McDonalds and Funions because it’s the only food in walking distance from their decrepit neighborhoods. The Spirit of the Lord has anointed him to forgive all your student loans. To bring living water to the people of Flint Michigan and Rwanda and Haiti. To tell the bank janitors that the CEO has distributed all their own pay raises and bonuses and stock options to them. To look the Dow Jones in the eyes and laugh. To dismantle our system of profits at the expense of people. To restore the dignity of the 99% AND to restore the dignity of the 1%. To endow us with a sense of worth that has nothing to do with bank accounts and status. Because the Spirit of the Lord had sent him to bring good news to the poor.
7) Henri Nouwen – from the book Out of Solitude
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
2) Thomas Merton – from the book Thoughts in Solitude
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
7) Elaine Heath – from the book The Mystic Way of Evangelism
Evangelism is intrinsically relational, the outcome of love of neighbor, for to love our neighbor is to share the love of God holistically. The proper context for evangelism is authentic Christian community, where the expression of loving community is the greatest apologetic for the gospel. Holiness—being given to God and God’s mission in this world—is a way of life that is expressly concerned with evangelism.