We’ll keep reading semi-contiguously in the gospel of Luke, Lectionary-ish, picking up hints from Jesus’s ministry about what embodied discipleship and embodied church look like. Partly here the goal is to make explicit something that’s been implicit (and therefore easy to miss as we grow) about Galileo Church’s way of being.
January 6, Epiphany Sunday: Luke 3:21–4:13; Isaiah 60:1-6
The Physicality of Christ and Christianity. Jesus’s own faith journey is embodied: he is baptized; he inherits a lineage, if not DNA; he is tempted by hunger and power and comfort. And so the religion that arises in his name is not a set of intellectual propositions to which we give our intellectual (or spiritual or emotional) assent. Rather, we get ourselves (our bodies) here, for worship, for companionship… and it matters.
January 13, the First Sunday After the Epiphany: Luke 4:14-30; Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-9
Justice as an Embodied Commitment. When we say we “do justice for LGBTQ+ people”? What does that mean? It doesn’t only mean that we believe in it, or feel good about it. It requires presence to be true: presence here (at Galileo) as an act of resistance (for queer people) and fortification (for allies). Here we reclaim the sacred text, the sacraments, the hymns, a finger in the eye of the traditional churches that kicked us out. And we sometimes, physically, leave the safety of this space to advocate: MISD, Pride, Austin, etc. We’re not doing it if we’re not embodying it. (And like Jesus’s own presence in the synagogue, reclaiming the text and proclaiming justice for the left out ones, our own bodies are sometimes endangered in this work.)
January 20, the Second Sunday After the Epiphany: John 2:1-11; Isaiah 62:1-5
Eating and Drinking in Memory of Jesus. With a little jump over to John’s inaugural event… Galileo has a strong ethic of partying in Jesus’s name. In actual parties, or in G-groups, our eating and drinking is not casual or incidental. If you miss this part of our life together, you’re missing a big chunk of what we think the gospel means: that Jesus is the host of an everlasting feast, and that life in Christ is meant to be a feast of friendship and bounty. Your life shouldn’t feel thin or shallow when you’re part of Jesus’s family. This is your church encouraging you to party more. And paying for it!
January 27, the Third Sunday After the Epiphany: Luke 5:1-11, 17-26; Isaiah 62:8-12
DIY Church, or, The Sacrament of Dirt Under Your Fingernails. When we first started, we moved every stick of furniture every single week… We were citizens (rather than consumers or clients) of Galileo. It took everybody, every single week. When you are citizens of Jesus’s new empire, you smell like fish… you are covered in ashes (like that time Missy burned the palm branches for Ash Wednesday)… you got here early… you know where the light switches are… This is a DIY church, and it’s in our ethos for people to make themselves indispensable. (Do the lists of worship participation and more this week?)
February 3, the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany: Luke 6:6-36; Isaiah 6:1-8
The Only Binary We’re Interested In: Here vs. Not Here. We do church for people who are not here yet, because they are the ones who don’t yet know that God’s love is the engine that powers the universe, that they are loved as they are, that they are invited into God’s love here and now. This is not co-conspirator vs. “friend,” or super-involved vs. barely involved. We only recognize two groups: here and not here, meaning that we remain evangelistic in nature, wanting more people to have this experience of the embodied love of God. Which may mean we are called to UTA, or the Pickle Parade, or any other place where we think we can find spiritual refugees, castaways washed up on our shores…