Please note: All due dates for submissions for Volume 29 (2013-2014) have now passed. We will be posting themes for Volume 30 (2014-2015) in January 2014. Read the Weavings Writer’s Guidelines here.
After Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the desert, he goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was his custom. In his hometown of Nazareth, he stands to read the scripture from Isaiah, a passage that articulates so well his mission and call:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19, NRSV)
Jesus is called to bring release—from poverty, imprisonment, blindness, and oppression. As Christ’s followers, with the Spirit of the Lord anointing us, we are also called to bring and proclaim release to the world. Each of these areas has individual, societal, and spiritual dimensions. In our day, how do these manifest themselves, and what does release look like. We explore implications of Christ’s call and of our call to release and to be released in the four major areas, described below.
Vol. XXIX, No. 1 (Nov/Dec 2013/Jan 2014)
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20)
Christ proclaimed a blessing for and sided with the poor on many occasions. What is Christ’s good news for the poor, and how is the church called to deliver it? Are there stories and examples of people or groups being released from poverty? What is our own spiritual poverty, and what are its implications for our daily lives? What are spiritual practices of being the hands and feet of Christ in regard to release from poverty? How are we “blessed to be a blessing” to the poor of the world?
Vol. XXIX, No. 2 (Feb/Mar/Apr 2014)
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17)
Just as the Spirit of the Lord was upon Christ to bring release, so that same Spirit is still bringing about freedom in and through us. What are we most imprisoned by, desperately needing Christ’s release from? Have you witnessed the release of someone held captive or experienced this release yourself? What are stories of release from captivity—spiritual or literal—that have amazed you? What are the practices of releasing others from being captive to our expectations? What are the implications and meaning of this verse for prisoners in the US penal system? What are the environmental implications for releasing the earth, captive to the selfish choices of humans? How do frenzied schedules and the culture of “hurry up” hold us captive to the clock? More generally, what are our own prisons—personal, spiritual, communal?
Vol. XXIX, No. 3 (May/Jun/Jul 2014)
“One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25)
In this issue we explore ways of discernment that open our eyes to God’s guidance. What are spiritual practices that help us to see, to pay attention? What societal blindness do we suffer from (political, consumerism, lack of concern for others)? How do we contribute to one another’s blindness? What does release from blindness look like in our perspectives and worldviews? How can a shift in our perspective heal our blindness? In a more literal sense, what are some examples of ministry to and with those who are sight impaired that remind us of all the different ways in which we can “see”?
Vol. XXIX, No. 4 (Aug/Sep/Oct 2014)
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)
The Psalmist proclaimed, many years before Christ, the strength of the Lord for those who are oppressed. Who are the oppressed in our day, and how is the Lord a stronghold for them? How does the plight of political prisoners, victims of human trafficking, women and other oppressed groups in some countries call out to us for intervention? How are we, the church, called to be agents of release for oppression in the world and in the lives of those we associate with every day? How do we experience the oppression of loneliness, and what does release from loneliness look like? What are your stories of being freed from oppression?