Accepting Joy – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Luke 15:1-10

What does repentance look like? A lost sheep. The shepherd leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for the one lost. The shepherd seeks, finds, lifts onto shoulders, and walks back carrying the sheep. What does the sheep do? It accepts. Kenneth Bailey wrote: “Repentance is not a work which earns our rescue. Rather, the sinner accepts being found.”[i]

Remember what it feels like to be lost. Separated from a parent or friend. Not knowing where you are. Caught up in pride through pleasures or resentments like the lost sons later in this parable. Hungry for love.

Remember what it feels like to be found. Reunited. Knowing where you are. Being seen, witnessed, accepted, and loved as you are for who you are. Welcomed and fed.

Remember what it feels like to share joy. “Come celebrate with me!” they say with a big smile and rising voice. Their countenance sparks heart-pumping energy in us. We smile and laugh or clap together. Read More

Embodied Love – Br. Luke Ditewig

John 1:1-14

“The Word was made flesh and lived among us.”

Amazing, wondrous flesh: a baby with bright eyes and smile, tiny fingers, a bundle of new living love. Fragile, frail flesh: reliant on others for food, warmth, provision. Whether child, youth, adult, or elder, even with great care, each will sicken and die. Connected, touching flesh: face-to-face baby and parents bond before and beyond words. Human bodies relate in families and communities both given and chosen. Looking at each other, faces light up and we know love. The Word became flesh—amazing, fragile, connected—and lived among us.

Disconnected this year, we long to be together in the flesh, to see and touch, hug and hold. Fragile and frail, we mourn the dead and dying, struggle to tend the sick, to care for each other, to make ends meet. We are weary from so much change and adaptation.

Being human is amazing. Remember the wonder of our breath, every movement we make, our capacity for imagination and discovery, for being playful and creative. Remember how skin and other organs work to protect from and then restore after injury. Remember the healing power of touch, listening, tears, and laughter.

God became human in Jesus, to live as one of us. “Pleased with us in flesh to dwell Jesus our Emmanuel.”[i] God was pleased to fully immerse into being human. The “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Mighty God, … Prince of Peace”[ii]came and still comes for, with, and as one of us. Jesus longs with us, mourns with us, and with a twinkling eye reminds us of amazing bodies and wondrous love.

Look at the Child of Bethlehem. We have hope. God still comes. Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. With one hand on your heart, reach out to another. This is a way to show and feel affection on Zoom. Though distant, we are still connected. Look to the glory embodied, and share the love. Merry Christmas!


[i] Charles Wesley, 1739, alt. “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!” verse 2

[ii] Isaiah 9:6

Powerful Truths & Ineffable Mysteries – Br. Keith Nelson

Br. Keith Nelson

John 18:1—19:42
Good Friday 

I.

“It is finished.”[i]

Logically, there should be no more to say. “It is finished.” The altar is naked, the flame extinguished, the holy water dried up. 

And yet, we linger here  where powerful truths have been expressed and ineffable mysteries suggested.

II.

The Truth: that the Love of God risks everything, forsakes all sense, abandons natural order, acts contrary to human expectation. We read in this truth the voluntary self-gift of God’s only-begotten Son “into the hands of sinners” that he fashioned from clay. 

And the Truth: that the Love of God can – and shall – convert every instrument of death that cruel humans can invent into a key that opens the door to Life. We read this truth in the Cross that bore his Body. 

And the Truth: that the Love of God endures the worst imaginable suffering. Through this, not in spite of this, as a ray of light pierces the darkest storm cloud, God’s glory is made manifest. We read this truth in the flesh of Jesus Christ: beaten, bleeding, broken, dying…drawing all people to himself.

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