Ordinary Time


The greatest story ever told, the story of God’s Kingdom, has a place for all.

You are a part of that story.

Rest in the assurance that you are a part of the story of God’s loving and life-giving kingdom.


The Lord God proclaims: I myself will take one of the top branches from the tall cedar. I will pluck a tender shoot from its crown, and I myself will plant it on a very high and lofty mountain. On Israel’s mountainous highlands I will plant it, and it will send out branches and bear fruit. It will grow into a mighty cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it and find shelter in the shade of its boughs. Then all the trees in the countryside will know that I, the Lord, bring down the tall tree and raise up the lowly tree, and make the green tree wither and the dry tree bloom. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 17:22-24


I do not have a green thumb. I do, however, remember the first thing I ever planted – an avocado tree. My father made me plant the avocado seed and told me it was my responsibility to water the seed twice a day. I did. My father died, and we moved away before I could see the results of my avocado tree. Years later, after the civil war in Liberia I went back to that house and sure enough, there was my avocado tree all grown and bearing fruit.

Being a part of making something grow filled me with so much joy. Reading the Lord’s proclamation in Ezekiel 17 reminds us that we are called to grow God’s kingdom. Our work is not only to talk about being a part of God’s kingdom. Our work is to nurture the growth of God’s kingdom for all God’s people to experience. Our work should be live-giving and life-affirming in the service of growing God’s kingdom here and now.

James Blay


Life-giving God, give me the strength and the desire to grow your kingdom here. Help me not to get weary, but even when I do, be a sustaining and recharging presence. I know the importance of growing your kingdom. Give me the courage to keep working with love, grace, and mercy to build your life-giving kingdom. Amen.


Go, knowing God has empowered you to write your part in the greatest story ever told.

Go write a story of love; a story of justice; a story of mercy; a story of welcome; a story of peace.