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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The Harrowing of Hell as depicted in St. Mark's Church in Venice

We Are the Lord’s

No matter what happens, you belong to Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is not just any old powerless idol. He is the God who suffered for us.

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The Red Sea from the view of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's coast

The Lord Will Fight for You

We have to reckon with the destruction caused by the complex interplay of divine intention and the desires of humans in the Exodus story. And we also have to reckon with something else: Jesus ultimately entered this story. He ultimately answered the violence of the way things happen in this world by submitting to it.

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Mercy in Jesus’ Name

We are not in charge. We have to take things on faith. We exercise courage. We look for mercy.

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We Do Pray for Mercy

The calling of the Gentiles is a marvelous thing, but it complements the Hebrew story and does not replace it.

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A butterfly perched on a windowsill

Signs of the Kingdom

Where have you seen the kingdom of heaven?

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Two swords crossed across a shield as an ornament on a heavy medieval door

More Than Conquerors

Paul lays out a picture in Romans 6-8, not of good people to whom bad things never happen, but of redeemed people on whose behalf Christ intercedes.

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Two people harvesting plants from a field

All Good Gifts Around Us

There are things in life we cannot control. Some of those things even get in the way of allowing God’s Word to flourish within us. But to the best of our ability, we should have ears that hear, and we should be soil that is ready.

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A few plants sprouting up out of good dark soil

The Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands

The redemption we receive goes deeper than anything we can pay for.

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A balcony on a house in Verona that supposedly inspired Romeo and Juliet

A Greater Power Than We Can Contradict

Imagine that you were reading this story for the first time and you didn’t know how it ended. You’d be hearing the growing excitement of the spread of Jesus’s movement, expecting more of the same, and then all of a sudden you would hear that among those commissioned to spread the excitement is one who will betray the Lord. Will that be the end of the story?

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The word "FORGIVE" carved into a concrete sidewalk

While We Were Yet Sinners

We will no doubt fail during Ordinary Time. And when we do, we can turn, confess our sin, and return to the Lord who forgives.

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A beautiful blue church in Tanzania

He Is Mine, I Mean I Am His

We all belong to Jesus. We are all loved by the Father. We are all empowered by the Spirit. We are all God’s. Even (especially?) when we make mistakes.

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Images from the life of Christ - The Ascension, Christ ascends into heaven above the apostles - Psalter of Eleanor of Aquitaine (ca. 1185) - KB 76 F 13, folium 026v

Don’t Look Up

In his own good time, Christ will bring everything to fulfillment. In the meantime, we should wait for the power, we should work for the mission, and we should not stand around staring at the feet.

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A sheep in a pasture with a fence around it

The Sheep That Have a Name

Be assured that your good shepherd cares for you. He knows you by name, and he will be your gate, your bread, your light, your life, your true vine, and your way.

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Shelves of food at a food pantry

The Elephant in the Room

What do we do about the needy and exploited among us? If we have much, how can we help those who have little? If we have little, what can we expect from those who have much?

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A brown paper cut-out cross on brown paper background

Low Sunday

What Jesus did for us, he did because he was both crucified and risen. What Jesus did for us, he did because he was both human and divine. What Jesus did for us encompasses both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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