Pentecost

It’s Pentecost this Sunday, June 4.
 
The disciples have a sense that God is present everywhere. They preach and those gathered hear the good news of God's love and power in their own language. In their own language.

What if the church today felt it was her job to preach the good news of God’s love in the language that people need in order to hear it and receive it?  
 
If we were speaking in the language that people need to know it, we’d be speaking so that Muslims are having conversations with Christians, and Christians are having conversations with Jews, and Jews are having conversations with Buddhist. And none of us would act like we have God in our own pocket and that we know all about what God desires. I am talking about a translation miracle.  
 
In these hot mess times, we need to do Gospel. We need to do good news, by any means necessary. Good news in it for the poor, for the marginalized, for gay, trans, and lesbian people, good news for people who have been hurt, wounded, disrespected, and dispossessed by the church.  And if it's not good news for them, then it is not gospel.  
 
This Pentecost, think about the people on the margins who need to hear God's love, in a way they can take it in. 

To hear our morning celebrations, join us  Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org at 11:15 AM.

To hear our morning celebrations, join us  Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Looking Back

“My mom has been struggling with lung cancer for the last seven years and she passed away on April, 25.  On the way to Palm Sunday and Easter, on the way to our Revolutionary Love Conference, not only was I feeling a kind of a nondescript, diffuse grief about what is happening in the world but I was grieving the certainly, imminent death of my Mom. 
 
And I think it got me in touch with a real vulnerable place in myself. I felt like there was a power pouring into my heart. From what direction, I don’t know. Up? In? Out? But almost a palpable, direct power source that was giving me the space to grieve, permission to be unsure, and at the same time, certainty that God is God. 
 
And so I felt like in a way Middle was overhearing a conversation I was having with God. And the conversations were as much for me as for anybody else.” 
 
To hear our morning celebrations, join us  Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org at 11:15 AM.

To hear our morning celebrations, join us  Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Signs

"I can feel mommy-ness in me, perhaps stronger than I ever have in my life. And this psalm makes me think of God-ness—there are signs of God everywhere."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on Psalm 31.1–5, 15–16. As we prepare for Mother's Day, Jacqui talks about seeing signs from her mother, just as she encourages us all to notice the signs from God around us.

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

The Shepherd and the Gate

"The image of the gate is symbolic for many immigrants that have to come the United States. Our journeys include not only migrating from country to country, but from spiritual world to spiritual world."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Chad Tanaka Pack reflects on John 10.1–10. As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, how can we rethink the idea of Jesus as a "gate" through which our journeys are all connected?

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM. 

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Two-Step with God

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on Micah 6.1–8. As we gear up for Revolutionary Love Conference Sunday at Middle Church, how can we more boldly embody the principles of justice, mercy, and humility?

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM. 

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Be in the Light

"Life keeps happening, even after death."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on the light and dark imagery in Ephesians 5.8–17. What does it mean to "be in the light"? What is it like, in Eastertide, to risk being ourselves?

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM. 

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Mary Don't You Weep

We are in the middle of Holy Week. Easter is on Sunday. And in the Easter story, I see hope.

As some of you may know, my mom is sick.  I talk about that in this episode of That'll Preach. I talk about how she's been living with us with cancer for seven years, and in her declining times, I can feel a kind of resilience, a kind of resurgence of her hope. I talk about how all of us who are sad and already grieving, we are closer to each other now than we've ever been because Mom's faith and resilience that inspire us. I wonder if there's something about that that the Easter story has for us. Listen to the episode and let me know what you think:

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Palms & Passion

"Palm Sunday is a story about conflict, a conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Rome; a conflict between peace and love and justice, and sword and violence and might."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on Matthew 21:1-11; 26:15-27; 66. As we think about this text in which love is in conflict, let's consider: Where are you finding the courage to resist? Where are you seeing signs in the universe of the resilience of the human spirit? And where do you see evidence that we can rise, as a people, as a culture, as Living Souls? 

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Reconceived

"We all belong to God just because God is love. Just because God is love."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on a text you probably know well: John 3:1–17. What does it mean to be “born again,” and how does this text invite us to reconceive old notions?

To hear more from this text join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Jesus Feminist

"Before we get to make the same amount of money as men, our God sees us as equal. I think that makes Jesus a bit of a feminist."

In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4.5–42). How can we read Jesus’s interactions with women as evidence that God sees us all as equal?

To hear more from this text, join us this Sunday in the East Village or online at www.MiddleChurch.org every Sunday at 11:15 AM.

You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Jacqui Lewis // Facebook // Twitter 
Middle Church // Facebook // Twitter 
That’ll Preach // Facebook // Twitter

Episode Transcript: 

I'm Jacqui Lewis, the senior minister of Middle Collegiate Chruch, and you're listening to That'll Preach—a show that's one part sermon prep and one part devotional. And the next episode starts right now. Here we go!

Today we're going to be reflecting on John 4, verses 5 through 42. This is the story about Jesus coming to a Samaritan city, thirsty. A Samaritan woman is drawing water out of a well, and Jesus needs a drink; she reminds him about how he’s breaking the rules—that boundary crossing son of a God, breaking the rules.

And then they have a little conversation about what kind of water this is. Jesus talks about how everyone who drinks of this water will never be thirsty again, and she wants it. And in the conversation Jesus ends up telling her everything about her business. He knows all of her business.

Why is this text important in Women’s History Month? I think it’s fascinating how much character study we get from Jesus, who I’ve taken to call Yeshua, because of his conversations with people. And his interactions with women—I mean, think about it. There’s that woman caught in adultery. There’s Mary Magdalene at the resurrection.

And then there’s this Samaritan woman. Helping us to clarify who Jesus is, a guy who will cross the borders to get a drink and then offer something so amazing to a regular woman, a person who is on the borders of her culture because of her femininity, because of her gender, but also because of her Samaritan status—you know, those mix-raced folks.

What is happening right here is that Jesus’s interaction actually gives her more than he asks for. She receives living water, an opportunity for life, and more abundant life. In Jesus, we see god leading us where we are—even those of us who society sees as less than—and giving us more than we can ask or imagine.

What do you need from God today? No matter where you’re sitting in the world, women listening, God sees you; knows you; loves you. Before we get to make the same amount of money as men, our God sees us as equal. I think that makes Jesus a bit of a feminist. How about you?