The resurrected Jesus stands as an agent of mercy and care—not keeping us from times of trouble, but walking with us through them. The slaughtered lamb upends conventional understandings of what God’s victory means while summoning us to listen.
Acts 9:36-43 The way of mercy is embodied both as power from the Lord and in Tabitha’s acts of love. Mercy is bigger than looking past a wrong, it’s treating other people like family.
Psalm 23 The psalms offers multiple possible exposures for us: David as sheep, David as shepherd, Jesus as shepherd, us as under-shepherds. The care God offers us comes first in the community. Also: we’re not protected from valleys, but God is walking with us through them.
Revelation 7:9-17 The loyalty of every nation, tribe, and tongue, is the point of contention. We have to beware of falling into the trap of conquering people for whiteness. We need to listen for the counter-narrative that stands over against empire. The passage invites us to trust that there is an ending in which God will be victorious.
John 10:22-30 The slaughtered lamb is also the shepherd to whom the sheep must listen. And if we are listening, there’s a faithfulness and beauty that people will be able to see.
Morgan Guyton is a United Methodist elder who leads the NOLA Wesley campus ministry in New Orleans with his wife Cheryl. Morgan’s first book How Jesus Saves the World From Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity with Westminster John Knox has just been released. He blogs www.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice.
Daniel Kirk is a writer, speaker, blogger, and New Testament professor who lives in San Francisco, CA. He holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University and is the author of a pair of books, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God and Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? His third book A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels, is off to the printers. He blogs regularly at StoriedTheology.com (http://patheos.com/blogs/storiedtheology). You can follow him on Twitter @jrdkirk and on Facebook at Facebook.com/jrdkirk.