Monday, December 5, 2011

Good News! (Advent 2 Year B)

Good News!

The gospel of Mark opens with these words.  Good News!

Don’t we all love these words? Good News! If someone comes to us and says I’ve got some good news to tell you it immediately engages us. We usually start to feel happy, maybe even a little excited. We give the speaker our full attention. We listen in anticipation.  After we have heard their good news it often leaves us with a sense of wellbeing.

Immediately before writing this I was glancing at the English newspapers online. It seems to me that they are filled with bad news. Today, I read about financial disasters, soldiers getting killed, child abuse, legal and governmental corruption to mention just a few. I’m sure good things do happen but the focus always seems to be on the bad stuff!

I imagine it was the same in the first century. I doubt if human nature has changed much.  So Mark opens the gospel with the words good news and not just one event, an ongoing state. “This is the beginning of good news”. What a way to get the readers attention.

It served as a salient reminder to those believers who were suffering persecution and hardship. By the time the gospel was written Jesus had already been dead more than 30 years. For those disciples it must have felt a long time, perhaps memories of the events were starting to feel old. Perhaps a little hopelessness was setting in.

Then the reminder is given  . . . “This is the beginning of good news”.   The gospel was written and must have been a light to them, a chronicle of good news.

Perhaps, that is how we should view advent. It is a light to us. Reminding us of what is important. Indeed, the beginning of good news.

Bad news seems to loom strongly at this time of year. There seems to be a lot of extra pressure on our time and finances. It can be a stressful time. With the rushing and the busyness it is sometimes hard to remember what it is all about.

I do love the advent wreath and the lighting of the candles each week. The candles representing hope, peace, joy and love culminating with the Christ candle to welcome the Christ child. They are our tangible reminders of what advent is about: the beginning of good news.

So as we continue to journey through advent, take a moment to light those candles and remember what the season is all about. Good News!

+Ab. Jane

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More Reading Parables Subversively (Proper 28 Year A)

 Matthew 25:14-30

Today we read the parable of the talents. The way I want to look at this story is to subvert it.

As with other parables in Matthew I want to read this as a social comment to the hearers of the day.

This parable has traditionally been interpreted as a comment on the ‘end times’.  The inference being that God is the landowner, we are the slaves and how we live our lives will be reflected in the ‘rewards’ we will earn in the ‘end times’.

What are the problems with this interpretation?

1. Would we want to describe God as harsh?

2. Would we want to picture God as absent?

3. Would we want to picture God as leaving all the work to slaves whilst reaping the benefits?

4. Would we want to picture God as enormously rich and wanting to get richer at the expense of others “reaping where one does not sow”?

Comments on the culture of the day

1. A Talent is specifically a unit of money. Please don’t try and interpret this parable to say that if God makes one good at singing, speaking, art, etc then use the gift! This is not a parable about using one’s abilities for God. It is a parable about moneymaking.

2. Biblical scholar John R. Donovan, S.J., tells us a single talent was equivalent to the wage of an ordinary worker for fifteen years. A talent was 3,000 shekels.

3. Burying one’s possessions was a common way of keeping them safe. This was normal practice in the time.

4. Those who make money were often seen as greedy and unscrupulous. Money making allowed the rich (in this case, the person who owned property and had much money) to get richer. This usually caused the hardship to the poor.

5. The landowner actually was asking the third slave to make money by investing. Usury was against God’s law. There are many references in the OT forbidding this. (eg. Ex. 22:25, Lev. 25:37, Neh. 5:10,11)

Where are we going to find God in this parable?

May I suggest in the third slave . . .

the one refusing to exhort from the poor and suffering greatly as a result

the one who refused to be caught up in the money making schemes of the world.

the one who is rejected and thrown out  (the cross?)

Who should we strive to imitate?

Again may I suggest the third slave . . .

that we have the courage to resist the money making schemes of the day that disadvantage the poor and outcasts

that we follow God’s way even when we know it will cause us to be ostracized and rejected.

Blessings +Jane

PS,  An interesting exercise to do is to read the parable and whenever you see the words "The Master or landowner" substitute "The Emperor" or "Ceasar". You will be surprised how differently it sounds.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reading parables (Proper 23 Year A)

Today’s parable (Matt 22) talks about a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. The invited guests did not come so he invited those from the streets to come. When they did so, one was without a wedding garment and thrown into the outer darkness.
 This parable is another interesting one. It is the last parable in a little series of three. The other two being entitled (in my Bible) the parable of the two sons and the parable of the wicked tenants. (Matt 21).
 I want to look at this parable in my usual way. That is to take God out of the leading role. I do not think the king is a picture of God.
 Look at how he is described. One who becomes enraged, who sent out troops to destroy people and property and, finally, sent a poor person from the streets bound hand and foot into “outer darkness”.  This is not a picture of God
 Likewise, last week in the parable of the tenants. I don’t think the landowner is a picture of God either.  Landowners were not liked, actually we could be as strong as to say they were often hated. They were seen as those who kept most of the people in poverty. The economic system was such that the landowners were very rich. They usually lived away from their land in the cities. They paid the workers very little so that they were completely dependent on the landowners for sustenance. The workers were often continually in debt to the landowners as there was no relief if the crop should fail or be poor. To the landowner only profit was important, not the people who worked the land.
 Further more, although not always clear in our various biblical translations, the opening starts “there was a person (anthropos), a king”. Although it can be said that this was a typical Aramaism, we also have to consider that maybe Matthew was simply emphasizing that this was a human being not God. Interestingly, the same opening was used in last week’s parable about the landowner, “there was a person (anthropos), a landowner”. 
 I think these parables were simply a comment on the classist system of the day.
 The king is a powerful person who expected people to do his bidding. Perhaps, he was something of a tyrant. He was obviously not well like, friendless, none of the invited guests attended his son’s wedding. When he didn’t get his own way he sent in troops to cause harm and hardship. Then he demanded that the people in the streets were commanded to attend the wedding. They had no choice.
The poor had to do the bidding of the king. They were helpless and voiceless. They had no control over their own fate. Think about the person thrown into outer darkness. This person had no wedding garment, probably beyond the means of a poor person. Yet the king had no compassion, no provision for the poor one. This person had no voice. That is often the situation of those trapped in poverty.
 Why was just one chosen? When one reads the story it sounds like many of the ones compelled to attend were poor, so, perhaps, a little unrealistic to assume only one was improperly clothed.
 I, also, want to cast a glance at the responses of the Pharisees (although that probably encroaches on next week’s reading). After these parables they plotted to trap him.  Interestingly, their minds went immediately to Ceasar and paying taxes. But I will leave that for you to ponder!
 The same with last week’s reading. The passage comments that the chief priests and Pharisees realised Jesus was speaking about them. Perhaps, they saw themselves not as those who did not receive the servants and son of the landowner but as the ‘landowner’ in the parable. They were being exposed because of their unjust economic dealings with the populous.
 Therefore, I think one way of reading these parables is that they were a comment on the social system of the day. Jesus was exposing the injustice of the system to chief priests and Pharisees. Jesus was exposing how desperate, angry, helpless and voiceless the poor were feeling.
May we be as Christ to all we meet.  
May we help the desperate to find justice
May we help the angry to find peace
May we help the voiceless find a voice.

Blessings +Jane

Fairness (Proper 20 Year A)

 If the parables were intended to cause us to pause and think about the complexities of life this one has certainly succeeded.
 We have the story of a landowner who hired people to work in his vineyard. The landowner hired a group of workers early morning for an agreed wage. Then as the day progressed the landowner saw people who had been unable to find work still standing around waiting. They were also hired, some at 9:00, some at mid-day, some at 3:00 and, finally, some at 5:00. Then at 6:00 he paid each of them the same wage. Those who had worked all day received the same amount as those who had worked only an hour.  There was, of course, grumbling amongst the workers especially those who had worked the longest. The landowner reminded them that they had been paid the agreed wage.
 This is one of those parables that somehow makes us feel uncomfortable. Actually, as we read, part of us wants to say that is not fair! Even using a definition of fairness that says that fairness is not equality but ensuring that everyone gets what they need, it still feels unfair. These vineyard workers were only paid subsistence wages and even a day’s illness would cause much suffering and hunger for a family. A little extra was always needed.
 One of the things I always do with parables is take God out of the central role. Often parables are interpreted as if the main character is representative of God. Then one has to try to interpret the parable in such a way as to give the character God-like virtues ignoring or twisting the text to explain away when the central character behaves in a very un-Godlike manner! So this is not a story to be interpreted as the landowner represents God. This is simply a story about a landowner and some workers. That allows us the freedom to look honestly at the story and say maybe the landowner was unfair.
 I just want to interject at this point that as I read this and the other parables in this section, one of which John talked about last week. I wondered how much they were redacted. Clearly, last week’s was. There was talk about the “church” in a parable supposedly spoken pre-crucifixion. I wondered if maybe this was influenced by Paul and the early apostles, who had not physically been with Jesus and witnesses to the Easter event, trying to justify that they were worth as much. Anyway, no more on that thought!
 Let’s get back to fairness.  We see this scenario played over and over again in our society. The concept in this parable is not strange or unfamiliar to us. It is not new. Look at your places of work.  I know where I work most people work really hard, usually even through breaks and lunchtime. Yet, some get paid lots of money, others a pittance often with equally good college degrees and qualifications especially in the current economic climate.
 The Realm of God is not some distant utopia where in the words of  C.S. Lewis “wrong will be right”. (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) It is our reality now. As people of faith we are living in the Realm of God. Maybe unfairness is what we have and what we see around us.  This is the world we live in. (If I wanted to talk on a global scale the problem is more acute.)
 So what do we do with this unfairness?  That has got to be the key consideration. We live in a society where some have more and some have less. Some get sick, some stay well. Some live safely some face disasters. That is simply the way it is.  Often it is circumstantial we don’t get a choice.
 Remember the workers who didn’t get hired weren’t lazy or work-shy. Actually, they showed amazing perseverance. I don’t think I would have stood from 6:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening hoping for work.  Maybe, that is where we can see God, in the character of the workers who didn’t get hired until 5:00!
 This parable twists and turns, maybe the ones who didn’t get hired initially thought it was unfair that others got a full day’s work!
 So what do we do with this parable? What does it teach us?
 I think it is just simply that sometimes life seems fair and sometimes it doesn’t seem fair.  It is often beyond our control. Where we get a choice is how we live . . .
 “To be as Christ to those we meet, to find Christ within them”

 +Ab. Jane

If you love me ... (Easter 6 Year A)

Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66: 8-20, 1 Peter 3: 13-22, John 14:15-21

Today’s lectionary readings have several interesting passages. We could have looked at the promise of the Holy Spirit or Paul revealing the unknown god to the Athenians.

However, the phrase that caught my attention was “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  A very simple, yet very strong statement. Love has an outworking and that is keeping the commandments as interpreted by Jesus . . . Love God, Love neighbour. 

It is the second of this couplet that I want to talk about. How do we love our neighbour?

As I pondered this another familiar phrase kept running through my mind. Well-known by all who have worked or do work within the medical field

“Primum non nocere”   First, do no harm. 

Love neighbour . . . First, do no harm

As I was thinking about these two statements they seemed to become connected and interwoven. If I love my neighbour I will first do no harm.

In the global climate we live in this has far-reaching implications. Our neighbour is no longer the person next-door or even someone living within the same village. Our neighbour is the whole of humankind. In the last few years we have seen how something that does harm in one part of the world effects another part.

Of course, individually we can’t do everything. We can’t help everyone. We can’t support every charity. We can’t be advocates for every cause.

But we can all do something!

Personally, loving neighbour/seeking to do no harm has led me in a number of directions . . .

Advocacy for women’s rights
Supporting and welcoming gay and lesbian friends
Fostering children who have been neglected and abused
Vegetarianism . . . unspeakable harm is done to our animal friends
Trying to be careful of the planet by using all non-harmful products, recycling and composting.

Each person’s journey of how to love neighbour will be different. These are our callings, our vocations  In Lindisfarne we can support each other as we seek to walk our own paths of loving neighbour/doing no harm. 

Perhaps some may want to share their journey as they seek to love neighbour/do no harm.

Blessings +Jane

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Re-reading the Emmaus Road (Easter 3 Year A)

Luke 24:13-35

This week’s lectionary contains a familiar post-resurrection story. Two disciples are walking on the Emmaus Rd, a third person joins them who is ultimately revealed as the risen Christ.

I want to mention very briefly three things about this story.

1. Who were these two disciples?

I know many of you have heard me talk about this before. However I think it bears repeating. As I looked at various commentaries, articles and pieces of art about this passage I was, again, amazed how many times I read the phrase “these two men “. 

How do we know it was two men? Quite simply . . . we don’t! Scripture only names one of these two disciples, Cleopas, the other remains unknown. The only thing we know for certain is that it was not one of the eleven.  Scripture tells us that these two disciples returned to give the eleven news that they had met the risen Christ.

Therefore I want to challenge the patriarchal reading of the scripture that immediately assumes that an unknown disciple must be male. 

Personally, I think the strongest contester for the position of the unnamed disciple is Cleopas’ wife. She was one of the women at the foot of the cross. (John 19:25, Cleopas is the Greek form of the name whilst Clopas is the Aramaic.) Personally, I find it hard to imagine that she would have been left behind, much easier to think of this as a couple returning home, saddened by the events of the previous few days. These two disciples obviously shared a house as they invited Jesus to stay in their home.

However, we cannot definitely know who it was. As I already said I simply want to challenge the patriarchal reading of scripture that immediately assumes that an unnamed disciple must be male and open our minds to other possibilities.

2. Not recognising Jesus

It is interesting how in the post-resurrection stories Jesus remains hidden until a moment of revelation.

I want to think about recognising Christ. It is another of those themes that we have talked about many times in our community. That we learn to recognise Christ wherever we are, whoever we are with and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. 

I think in this story there are two keys to recognising Christ . . . conversation and hospitality. I think these are useful keys for us as we meet people in our daily lives.

Conversation . . .  Christ initiated the conversation, Christ went to them. C an we take time to converse with those who are different, those we would not normally bother with, those who are wandering down a road feeling sad, scared and a little lost?

Hospitality . . . opening our homes, inviting in the stranger, risky, yet, as in this case, the risen Christ may be revealed to us.

3. Eucharist 

 Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it.

“This four fold action is the paradigm of Jesus’ life, the way he would have us interpret his life. It is his life that God chooses to take, bless, break and give. This self-giving of the Parent of the universe, for us humans and our salvation, ought to just astonish us.” 
(Jeff Krantz, “Preaching Peace Online”.  2008 

I wondered if we should make this the model for our lives and for our community. Lives dedicated to the service of God and God’s creation

Should we ask God to take our lives, bless our lives, break our lives and give our lives following this Eucharistic pattern?  In being broken our lives can be shared with others.

Hopefully, in living our lives in this model, the risen Christ will be revealed to those we meet.

+Ab. Jane

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Christ is Risen (Easter Sunday Year A)

As I ponder the Easter events I have a question:

How does the resurrection affect me today?

The account of the resurrection in John is, perhaps, my favourite. The author of John writes that the empty tomb was discovered by Mary Magdalene, she then went and told Peter and another disciple. They returned with her, saw the empty tomb and left to go home. Mary remained and Mary met the resurrected Christ.

This holds the promise of full life and experience to women. Mary, here, is portrayed as an apostle. The apostle to the apostles.  One sent by Christ to bear witness to the empty tomb. In a culture where women could not even give testimony in a court of law, a woman was used to bear testimony to the resurrection. The author of John is indeed showing that women can play a full and equal part in the community of believers. I am glad for us in Lindisfarne that is a reality.

A second way it affects me is, perhaps, the one I need to practice more often. In the text we are told the disciples went home, yet Mary remained. She was the one who took time to linger and she was the one who met the risen Christ. In our culture lifestyle is so rushed. It feels like my life is always busy. There is always so much to do. I would probably have rushed home to clean the house or do the ironing. In the business world busyness and productivity are often seen as signs of success. Yet, maybe we miss so much. We don’t want to be so busy that we miss the Christ.

Lastly, the way I am affected by the resurrection is influenced by the practice of finding God in everything. At Easter tide there is . . .

Joy rippling through the universe
Energy pulsating through the earth

A tiny green shoot pushing through the dark, cold earth
A small ray of sunlight peeping through the dark clouds

The dawn breaking
The birds singing

Resurrection Life bursting forward with all the promise and hope that brings

Christ is Risen . . . Christ is Risen Indeed.

Easter Blessings, + Jane

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Light and Darkness (Lent 4 Year A)

Today the gospel reading is the story of the person born blind. This story is carefully placed in the Gospel of John and serves as an illustration for Jesus’ declaration. “I am the light of the World” which is one of the seven predicate “I am” sayings in John.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

The Jewish hearers would have understood the significance of this. Jesus was announcing that he was the fulfillment of the Jewish festival of the Tabernacles where light is a major part. It would also reference Jewish scriptures (for example, Isa 9:1-2, Zech. 14:7-8). Can you imagine the effect such a statement would make?

One of the motifs of John’s gospel is light and darkness. As part of the prologue the author wrote “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Jesus was declaring that he was that light.

Then into this understanding came the illustration of the blind person. A man blind from birth. One who had never seen the light. The author furthermore uses this passage to allow a discussion of sin. 

Was the person’s blindness a result of sin? Was it generational sin?

The passage then tells the reader that the man was born blind to allow God’s work to be revealed. (This poses a huge question for us and one for which there is no answer is given in the passage . . . the question about the relationship of Divine will and suffering.)

In the passage there follows a long discourse which, as well as the disciples, includes the man’s family and neighbours and the pharisees.  I don’t want to detail all the nuances of the discussion but will give the conclusion Culpepper reaches in his book The Gospel and Letters of John.

“Sin lies not in being born blind but in refusing to see when one is confronted with light . . . Sin consists of not being born unbelieving but in refusing to believe when one has seen the power of God at work.” (178-9)

I want to consider also some of the implications of light and darkness for us as we continue our own spiritual journey.

The question I want to pose (and, hopefully, let each of you consider) is what are we in darkness about today? Where do we need more light and truth to shine? It may be a different answer for each person. Although we gather companions along the way our journey is our own It is personal to us.

I know as I have walked my journey there have been many moments of revelation. The light shines and something is revealed to me. It is an “Eureka” moment and it changes me. Such a moment often determines the direction my journey will go. There are lots of twists and turns along the way as we follow the path God has laid out before us.

For me, such significant moments have included:

1. The place and treatment of women in the church. I rejoice in knowing that women are not barred from leadership at any level. Women can enter fully into whatever role they are called to. 

2. Finding God in all things and all people. As Sarah Breuer says, “We cannot be light to the world until we can see that light in the eyes of beggars in our town . . . welcoming that light as Christ's presence among us and receiving each bearer as a neighbor, a brother or sister with a face and a name." 

3. Rejecting the the marginalisation of people because of their sexuality orientation. All are equal in God’s sight and should be free to serve in any role in the church and world.

4. Embracing vegetarianism as a concern for our fellow non-human beings. Eating animals was a result of the fall. Redemption should include our speaking for those who have no voice.

These challenged me, changed me and caused me to rethink previously held positions. I can say I was blind but now I see. I hope each of you have had and will continue to have such moments. Perhaps you have some you would like to share with us.

In Lindisfarne we want to affirm each person’s individual journey as we each move towards greater light. Yet we also want to move as a community towards the light together. Can the community be a shinning light showing people the way out of the darkness of prejudice and hatred?

Or perhaps another way of saying it . . . can we be as Christ to all me meet?

Blessing +Jane

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Mountaintop (Last Epiphany Year A)

Andy on Wansfell, Summer 2009
Matthew 17:1-9
Today is the Sunday before Lent. Our gospel reading is the story of Jesus and three of the disciples going up to a high mountain and having an amazing experience.
Mountains are wonderful. One of our great pleasures when we lived in England was going to the Lake District and climbing the hills there. Even the names evoke many memories, Conniston Old Man, Blencathra, Hellvelyn, Skiddaw! On a clear day the mountain top views are breathtaking. Yet even in the mists, wind and rain (so often present in the Lake District) there is something very special. A new awareness of the elements, a borderland experience where everything is somehow more real.
Yet, most of our lives are lived in the valley. That is how it needs to be. Historically, towns grew up in valleys. Most of the time our lives are filled with the mundane. We get up, we eat, we work, we have leisure time, we care for others, we sleep. None of these are bad things. They are the elements of our lives and they can be part of a rich, fulfilling life.
Yet, we long for the time when we return for a brief moment to a mountain top.
The transfiguration was such a moment for Peter, James and John who accompanied Jesus. It must have been a tremendous experience. What a privilege!
It showed the disciples that the realm of God is beyond human imagination. It is beyond anything they could have dreamt of. It transcends physical limitations and time. They could not capture it in human structures and keep it for ever.
Maybe we all try to do that. I enjoy photography. I have hundreds of photographs most of them trying to capture mountain top experiences. Yet, at the best, they serve only to aid memory, to help one relive special moments. Perhaps, we are not so different from Peter!
I’m sure this was one of the moments that kept Peter, John and James going throughout their lives. It was like a little snap shot of resurrection life. They saw Moses and Elijah, the greats of their faith who represented the law and the prophets. And they weren’t dead, gone for ever, but alive and talking to Jesus. What a hope for those three disciples!
Do you think they remembered this day at the end of their lives? James as he was being killed with the sword, one of the earliest Christian martyrs. Peter as he was crucified on his cross. John, an old man, exiled on the isle of Patmos.
Of course we know that the voice from heaven directed Peter, James and John not to look to Moses and Elijah but to Jesus. However, I’m still sure that it must have been a tremendous hope and encouragement to them.
So I want us to be thankful for all the high spots on our journey. Those we could term mountain top experiences. The high spots in our lives which create memories that stay with us for ever. Don’t try to separate which experiences are spiritual and which are secular. I believe that all our life is lived in God’s presence. Every experience is a gift from God. A time that sustains you and equips you for future service.
My hope is that we will all experience those times that break into our ordinary, everyday lives, memorable times, mountain top experiences.
There is one interesting thing about this story that I want to add. In Luke’s almost identical version he talks about the conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah. They were talking about Jesus’ departure. The word Luke used is ‘exodus’.
I think this word was carefully placed by the author. I don’t think it was random, or coincidental. Here was Moses and the talk was of 'exodus’. A journey into freedom. If we look at all the texts following the transfiguration, they can be read as stories of freedom. Therefore, I don’t think the transfiguration story should be read as a conclusion. It is not a proof text to Peter’s declaration that Jesus is indeed the Christ. It is a prelude, the opening chapter of Jesus’ own exodus story.
The exodus story which leads humanity into a new freedom, where all are welcomed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Choose Life (Epiphany 6 Year A)

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 119:1-8
1 Cor. 3:1-9
Matt. 5:21-37

Some challenging verses today.

When I first read them I thought how depressing! On the first reading they all seem to be so negative, so full of judgment and jealousy and a hell of fire.

Yet they also speak of choice. Deuteronomy urges us to “choose life”. Two small words yet they jump out of the text, “choose life!”

Two questions immediately came to mind.

1. How do we choose life in our contemporary society?
2. What sort of life do we choose?

1. How do we choose life in our contemporary society?

In some ways contemporary society is obsessed with life and avoidance of death. Look at the number of tests doctors want you to have, even when you are well!

However, I think the writer of Deuteronomy had so much more in mind than simply prolonging physical life. Life is defined as loving God, obeying God and holding fast to God. I think life is to be lived in the fullness of God’s presence. Choosing life is for now. Every moment being seen as a gift not to be wasted.

2. What sort of life do we choose?

These verses also made me think about the twelfth understanding as this week we are considering what that means to each of us. So I want to read these passages in that light. It is somewhat simplistic as each verse could be studied in depth. However for today I want to measure the passages against the opening phrase “we are called towards a generous, self-giving lifestyle.” Life is to be lived in the service of others, nothing is to be held close or hoarded.

If we live that way it takes care of a lot of the problems that are brought to our attention in the epistle and gospel. What are these problems and what are the answers?

Jealousy and quarreling about which leader they support. . . live a generous, self-giving lifestyle, recognize everyone’s gift and contribution.

Murder and anger . . . live a generous, self-giving lifestyle, be quick to be first to reconcile.

Adultery and lust . . . live a generous, self-giving lifestyle, receive everyone as a wonderful person created in God’s image not an object to be lusted after.

Blessings Jane