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Author: Jennifer Woodruff Tait

Jennifer Woodruff Tait (PhD, Duke University) is the editor of and frequent contributor to Life for Leaders. She is also the managing editor of Christian History magazine and web editor for the Theology of Work Project, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. She has written a book of poetry, Histories of Us. Jennifer lives in Berea, Kentucky, with her husband, Edwin, and their two daughters.

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Must Have Been Something in the Water

Jesus’s baptism means something for how we understand his glory in Epiphany. It also means something for how we understand his temptation, and his ability to resist temptation, in Lent.

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The Story of My Noah’s Ark

God has shown faithfulness through all generations.

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A nativity set where the figures all have holes in them

Where’s Jesus?

If you were to keep reading the Gospel of Mark, you’d find tension continuing between a Jesus who asks to have his kingdom not revealed yet and a Jesus who is getting more and more famous by the minute.

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An old fishing boat on a beach in Brazil at sunset

Fishers of Folk

The Sundays after Epiphany are the Sundays when we think about how God makes his kingdom manifest in the world, and how the light of Jesus was and is revealed.

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The tail of a whale sticking out of the water

I’m the Biggest Thing in This Whale

Are you ready to be a messenger in the hand of God and an agent of God’s mercy?

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An empty table with Christmas lights and candles

Word

The Word became flesh and lived among us.

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A Latin American nativity with a group of women presenting gifts to the Baby Jesus

Holy Innocents

What in the world are these anniversaries of martyrdom doing during the holy days after Christmas Day?

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A black and white statue of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus

Good Things

At this hinge moment of history, in a backwater Roman province, a young peasant girl, overwhelmed and pregnant, yet saw and knew and prophesied the coming of the Messiah in the tradition of all the great prophets from the Hebrew Scriptures. And alone among those prophets, she bore in her very body that very Messiah, incarnate for our salvation.

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A flower crown or garland hanging on a fence

A Garland

Sometimes, in a dark world at a dark time, we need to hold onto the promise, not just of salvation, but of feasting.

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Graffiti reading "THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE"

Well Done?

Responding to what we have been given by sending it out to multiply flourishing in the world is a much better posture than the posture of fear.

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A close-up of a ticking clock or watch face

Like a Thief in the Night

We have no control over when Christ is coming back. Let’s live a life of faith, hope, love, and building each other up while we wait.

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A famous statue of Julius Caesar in Rome with a bird on his head

Money Doesn’t Exist

God ultimately rules over light and darkness, weal and woe, leveled mountains and straight roads—and over the exchange of money.

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A bulletin board reading "GOD IS FAITHFUL"

Though You Do Not Know Me

Whatever happens to the people of God, God is in control. 

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A modern-looking crucifix in a church with a beautiful stained glass window behind it

Christ Is at Work in Who?

Those who actually believe the message of the kingdom and try to live it out are the tax collectors and the prostitutes in this passage. The religious leaders had all the knowledge necessary to do the work, but they didn’t follow through. Where are you in this story?

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A sticker on a UK mailbox reading "Stay Humble"

Work Out Your Own Salvation?

As we live a humble life of self-giving for others, we don’t have to do it on our own; God will be at work in us, enabling us both to will and to work.

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