Anna Rapa on the ministry of reconciliation through Jesus

Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: Jesus died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

Because of this decision we donʹt evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly donʹt look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life begins! Look at it!

Instead of selfishness, we now can be selfless.  Instead of greed, we now can give generously what we have.  Instead of being filled with lust, we now can love people who are ugly.  Instead of being prideful, we know that everything that we have and are comes from God.  Instead of seeking the approval of others, we now know that we have God’s approval.

All this comes from the God who healed our broken relationship with him, with ourselves, and with each other.  He now asks us to spend our lives working to help other people heal their broken relationships.  If we choose to walk with God, then our job is to also walk with others and bear their burdens and help men and women drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right.

But how is this possible?  It’s possible because God made Jesus, who had no brokenness, to be broken for our sakes, so that through his body and blood, we could become the children of God.

Anna Rapa, Second Story: seeing what’s not being said, 75-76.

“This passage is a mixture of the author’s paraphrase,
the NIV, and The Message…”

prayer for the first Sunday after the Epiphany, the baptism of our Lord

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer