Touchpoints

Touchpoints

Touchpoint is a reflection on where God’s story touches our life story. It is a short homily based on a biblical story of people in the Old and New Testaments and their relationship with God. Our spiritual ancestors’ experience of God’s grace connects with our lives in the present and our relationship with the Divine.

Touchpoint "Good Shepherd"; watercolor painting by Steve Henderson of Native American watching his sheep near the Grand Canyon

All in the Game, or the Name?

“’In the name of Jesus’ to me means, In the name of the one who wears the wounds of our lives on his back. It is not magical, but it is mystical. In the name of the one whose reputation was of loving indiscriminately. In the name of the one who found a way out of no way, even through doubt and confusion. In the name of the one who has more power than any therapist suggesting I sit beside still waters. Rather, “In the name of” refers to the one who makes me lie down, in the revelation of Gods compassion, beside still waters. Even more, who is calm waters, and whose spirit restores my soul.”
Touchpoint: Your true self. Watercolor image of butterflies flying out of a woman's head

Third Party Gods

“Let’s each ask ourselves, ‘Where do we linger the most? Where do we abide? What stokes our inner fire?’ This is an invitation, not a judgment. Compassion longs to take us by the hand and walk with us. Spirit’s compassion will celebrate the uncovering of false identities we’ve created, both of ourselves and of the third party gods.”
Touchpoint: The Walk to Emmaus; watercolor painting of three men on the road in sunset by Bonnell

The Risen Bread of Life

“The comedian in me wants to believe Jesus had a great sense of humor with his disguise. Jesus starts walking ahead of the two men and they say, “Dude, come with us. It’s late and we all need to eat.” Jesus’ plan is working perfectly! No more parables, no more feeding them with a spoon. No more pulling grains of wheat to quench their hunger, no more seeds to scatter. No more lessons on how a stalk of wheat grows. The Bread of Life has fully risen and it’s time for the feast of life!”
Touchpoint: Jesus rode in on a donkey. Watercolor image by Jen Norton of Jesus riding through palm-waving crowd.

Untying the Colt of Peace

“Perhaps this was why Jesus told his apprentices to take nothing with them. They would need the help of others… places to sleep and food to eat. The needing, and serving those needs, would unify people along the way. They would not have tools of transaction or the temptation to respond to people with weapons. He was teaching them to ride in on a donkey of peace and the power of humility as well as action. Sharing and valuing others, asking for assistance, instead of seeing others as a threat, was the biggest blow to political and religious displays of might.”
Touchpoint: Jesus speaks about his death. Photo of tiny seedling sprouting.

Seeds of Glory

“Some of us of have had more doodoo in our lives than others. Please share the richness of your story with others. For our children, share your shade, your fruit, your new seeds to be planted. The many new seeds your story produces is what it takes for the main stalk to be glorified. To be multiplied.”
Touchpoint: God So Loved the World; image of a white cross in multi-colored, oil painted canvas using palette knife technique

So Very Loved

“Jesus took his place as the Son of God and returned the compliment to us. To believe Jesus is the Son of God is to believe that we, too, are the children of God, a title greater than any title a human being can be given.”
Community of the Wild Goose; photo image of a goose taking flight

Wild Goose, Free Spirit

“May we offer an alternative. May we open the doors and windows of our personal and institutional temples. May the cords of Jesus swing with love, agapao love. May it have the snap of compassion, the wind of spirit. May it bring the rain of grace to soothe the wounded. May it be embodied in the bread and juice in a new political and religious party. The new wine party poured into new wineskins and shared to all those hungry for authenticity and a full welcome! May it be for the posers, fakers and wannabes that Brennan Manning describes.”
Touchpoint: Get Behind ME, Satan! Oil painting in pastel colors of Satan by Randall Ciotti

Physics, Bro!

“Seriously though, when we attempt to impede the journey of another person, we are interfering in the intimacy with their God that develops in the good times and in the bad times. Sometimes the best thing we can do is accompany them in their journey. I lived Andi’s life for her in order to control the outcomes. Isn’t that what Peter did?”
Touchpoint Temptation of Jesus; photo close up of statue showing Christ suffering

The King of Hearts

“Remember when, for positive thinking, we were supposed to state and repeat the promises of God? Well, here’s one of the promises that was never included in the bunch. Jesus said, “In this world there will be trouble.” (John 16:33) You’ll never see this promise as a magnet on a refrigerator. I get the feeling Jesus’ time in the wilderness was not far from his mind when he said this. Indeed, there is trouble in our outer and inner worlds.”
Touchpoint: Cloud of witnesses. Image is painting of the Transfiguration by Armando Alemdar Ara

Earth, Water and Fire

“In this unimaginable heavenly experience, I love the human part of the story. Peter was terrified and doesn’t know what to say. So, he offers to build dwellings for the three on the mountain. What else would a guy say who has heard about the Ark of the Covenant, the Temples… the tents where God lived? He just was stunned in the moment. I seriously had to stop and laugh. The writer must have had fun writing, ‘Peter didn’t know what to say!’ In the awkward silence, as they gazed up at the three prophets whispering to each other, somebody had to bail everyone out!”
Touchpoint: Jesus went away to a solitary place. Image is a painting by Briton Riviere called Christ in the Wilderness (1899)

Engaging Solitude

“We are vulnerable in our loneliness, but Jesus sought engagement with the light that was previously revealed to him in the Jordan. He quoted words that he held on to his whole young life. He had no desire to be famous or powerful. In this moment, when his fame was at its peak, it was time to go to a solitary place for authentic connection. What a paradox that in a crowd, we may need to be alone to connect.”
Touchpoint: You speak with authority; image is a shadowy figure at a window, symbolizing inner demons

Devils and French Fries

“The evil is real, but I do not understand it. However, since I shook off the idea that I must wage a war against it, I have not encountered it. It has no life-giving breath, but only a stink in the air. Maybe a good candle and a centering prayer will help create an emotional receptivity to God as king rather than a panic-driven election of a false god.”