Gifts in the Wilderness

By Ben Lee

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Exodus 16:2-15

Matthew 20:1-16

During my family’s annual week-long family reunion, my parents would sometimes find unique things for us to do as a family. One year, when I was around twelve years old, he decided to rent a boat and take us out to a nearby island. Many of my cousins and I spent the day snorkeling and collecting shells, rocks, and even a few fossils. The next year, he arranged for us all to go on a deep-sea fishing trip for the day. After these two years, I began to expect something even better. I even had the gall to say “What are you going to do for us this year? It needs to be something that is more exciting than deep-sea fishing.” That was the year that my dad decided to do nothing. I was furious. It was going to be the worst year ever. Forget the fact that even being able to take a week-long vacation was a tremendous privilege.

The more I calculated what was coming to me, the more I distorted the dynamics of the gift that was being offered. And so my dad withheld that particular gift, lest I confuse the reason why he was offering it in the first place.  Read more

The Present and Hidden Kingdom

By Johnny Tuttle

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

I am a sucker for the universality – the “catholicity”[1] –  of this string of parables. They seem concerned, not simply with identifying the Kingdom of God, but the universal reach of its presence.

Certainly, the mustard seed is a speck in the field. Yet, as the parable announces, it grows into “the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” I suppose you could debate whether the mustard seed is indeed the smallest seed, or whether it is the greatest of shrubs when it is grown; I’ll pass on that debate. It seems the point, rather, is that the entirety of this “sprawling” plant – one large enough to house the birds of the air in its branches – is contained by the seemingly insignificant seed. Read more

Weekly Prayer – week 2

We will gather again this week for prayer on Zoom at 9pm eastern/ 6pm pacific. If you’ve already registered, you can join directly at this link: Evening Prayer. If you would like to register for the upcoming service, you can register here: Registration. 

At our first service, we had about a dozen people from places throughout the U.S. You can view the text from that service (and from future services) here. 

Though we regret that we won’t be gathering this year, we are glad that we can stay connected in this small way. If you can’t join us but have a prayer concern you’d like us to be aware of, you can email info@ekklesiaproject.org or leave a comment anonymously on this Google form. If you are interested in helping to plan or lead upcoming evening prayer services, you can contact us at the address above.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6