Sunday, October 5, 2014


World Communion Sunday
Twentyseventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
on Matthew 12:38-50, 
in which Jesus speaks of signs and family.  @FirstUMCBville  @kerrfunk

I'm a runner, many of you know. 
Because fitness, goal setting, prayertime.
99% of my running is solo, but yesterday I went to the Bville Park 
and ran a 5K (3.1 mi) for Branches Domestic Violence Shelter 
(only of its kind in 5 counties, serviced 2000 victims last year) 
(October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention month).

It always encourages me when I run with others
and I know that my presence also encouraging other runners.

There was a presentation by Krista Fink, runner and DV survivor (and author of “Silent No More” (you should check it out, I'm going to) ). She talked about the support and new family she had (in other survivors) as she ran away from DV.

You never know by looking at someone exactly what their life circumstances are... (victim of DV, loved one in prison or addicted, hospitalized, dead...)

Jesus says expand. Expand your circle of family of love to more, without judgment. Include the stranger, the outcast, the different...

The Pharisees felt threatened by Jesus' expansion.
They didn't want expanded, they wanted familiarity, comfort, control. Predictability.

Certainly Jesus was outside their familiarity, comfort, control, predictability.
Life is messy, not necessarily predictable, 
and sometimes you gotta roll with it.

Example: Ninevites, ungodly. 
God sent Jonah to preach, and they repented.
Unexpected! We should praise! 
Guess what, though, they'll be the judges of you. And what you see right now (that is, Jesus) is greater than Jonah.

Example: “queen of the south,” decidedly an outsider, 
sought godly wisdom from Solomon. 
Unexpected! We should praise! God adopts her!
And what you see right now (that is, Jesus) is greater than Solomon.

Discipleship is call to expand kingdom, to wade into the unexpected...
Who knows, maybe others will become part of God's family.

After all, Jesus came not for a few family members, but for more.
And he did not let adversity, neither threats nor death, stop him.

And so we reach out our hands to others, 
not asking if they've washed their hands properly... 
we reach out to the broken, the abused, the sick, 
the imprisoned, the foreigner, the neighbor... 
with the love of Christ, 
that the family of God may expand.

prayer and invitation to communion

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