Listening with Your Socks Blown Off

The diverse messages, sermons, essays, poems, and reflections in this issue of Thema are rich with meaningful experiences that point to the glory of God within our lives, experiences that amaze, daze, and set our hearts ablaze with awe, wonder, and delight. 

Social Justice Quilt Project

By BA Miskowiec

The design of a Social Justice Quilt is an artistic representation of the thesis that we are united with Christ and with each other as the Body of Christ. Being one with Christ, Christ’s priorities become our priorities. Christians continue Christ’s practice of offering healing and wholeness to all persons. United Methodists make that offer through their baptismal vow to “resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

Listening with Your Socks Blown Off

By Sister Deborah Lockwood

As we listen and experience through sight, sound, touch, even tase and smell, the overflowing love of God, prodigal in every way, flows out of us and into our world.

How to Feel Alive Again

By Christina Caron

In Ms. May’s latest book, “Enchantment,” she describes how a simple series of actions, like writing that note, helped her to discover little things that filled her with wonder and awe — and, in turn, made her feel alive again. “You have to keep pursuing it until you get that tingle that tells you that you’ve found something that’s magical to you,” Ms. May said. “It’s trial and error, isn’t it?”

Grief as Innovation

By Rebecca Messman

Grief is the great innovator, though no one signs up for this kind of change- management conference. It marshals in all kinds of new plans simply by making the old ones impossible. 

“Can We Eat the Lettuce Yet?”

By Jacob Kose

I teach students of all ages that failure is another word for learning if only we are attentive. Planting a baby marigold transplant too shallow or deep and noticing our role in its growth will teach us how to plant it next time. And even though shovels are fun, maybe next time we’ll just use our hands.

Delight in a poem by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. and listen with your socks blown off to the songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” sung by the gifted Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. 

The Hidden Wow! of an Unintentional Teacher

By Rev. Dr. Rindy Trouteaud

The crowds milling about on the Temple steps are too busy, too preoccupied, too caught up in their own worries to notice the poor widow. The band of scribes rushing to get to the Temple treasury before the doors close are too self-absorbed, too aware of the eyes upon them, too spiritual to see the huddled figure backing into the shadows. So what does Jesus see when he looks at the poor widow?

Mary as Wife and Mother

By Liz Deal

Jesus starts singing, “There was a young maiden so comely and fair…” His friends think it will be a bawdy and start laughing and poking each other.  But he continues, singing …

Cloud of Glory

By Vince Amlin

But a few words in, the invitation caught in her throat. We all watched as her eyes filled up and tears ran down her cheeks. She wiped them away and tried to go on with worship, but it was no use.

a spirit of forgiveness

By Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber

And that’s when I heard it.

11 words came to me from – would it be a form of spiritual self-flattery if I said – from God?

11 words, because I’m pretty sure I could not be trusted with more…

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