News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
We are facing great change as a church, a people, a society and the world. Technology has irreversibly transformed how we live our days. Our nation is moving from one of a dominant racial background (white) to one without a majority. COVID has turned everything upside down. Financial inequality: the between the super-rich (1%) and everyone else (99%) is the greater than it was 100 years ago in the age of the Robber Barons, and maybe the greatest since the Middle Ages. Our churches are less populated, as more people identify as “none of the above” when asked about their religious preference.
Our society is divided along political lines, in large part in response to this great change that embraces all aspects of our daily life. That’s what’s behind the hashtags that summarize the movements in our society. #BlackLivesMatter. #Defundthepoilce. #TakeAKnee. #Covfefe. #FakeNews. #MeToo. #MarchforOurLives. #NotOneMore. Most of the movements are calls for decolonizing our culture and institutions: to resist and change our historical colonization of life: how we seem to have long organized live through the cancellation of one (or more) cultures in order to impose a new dominant one.
What does God have to say? Where is God in all of it? Today we listen to another parable of Jesus from Matthew. It teases out the mysterious presence of God in our world, pointed to in the image of a crazy farmer planting seeds with abandon. The apostle Paul tries to articulate what this fierce and resilient love means for us. He invites us to glimpse God’s intent and promise in the revelation of the divine purpose for us – to be conformed to the image of Christ – in Romans 8.
But Jesus paints a different picture as he talks about the Kingdom of God. It’s what the Church is to exhibit and embody in the world in the way we act, love, lead, serve, and live.
Questions for Reflection & Examen:
• What engaged you, enraged you, or surprised you in these texts?
• Does Jesus not want the people to “get” his parable stories? Why are their minds stubborn, ears plugged, eyes shut and their hearts hardened?
• What is the truth of the parable of the sower and the seed, in which the seed is the message of the Kingdom?
• If God wants creation to be conformed and transformed into the image of his son the Christ, what would that look like? Who does God intend that for? Who then is predestined? And predestined to what?
• What connection do you hear between the message of the parable of the sower and the seed and this portion of Romans 8?
• How is the Spirit of God inviting you – or us as a church – to act, speak, be or change through this word about Kingdom purpose?
Download a Text Study Sheet for personal study HERE.