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Showing posts from March, 2018

Love

Daily reading: John 18:33-40 Holy Saturday 
Focus passage: “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and come into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”John 18:37
Jesus began his earthly ministry by announcing “the Kingdom of God is near.” And now as he stands trial he says “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”
This might be the most difficult passage of scripture to get our heads around. The Kingdom of God isn’t won by violence or coercion, it is won through the unconditional love of God that sustains and supports us no matter what.  
The cross then isn’t an act to appease a vengeful God, but a symptom of a world that solves problems through violence and not through love.
Take time today to contemplate the space between death and resurrection. Seek for G…

Forgiveness

Daily reading: Luke 23:32-38 Good Friday 
Focus passage:Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing. Luke 23:34
Sometimes we find it easier to forgive when someone asks for forgiveness, because then we get the acknowledgement that they have wronged us. But here on the cross Jesus forgives without being asked. Jesus speaks a word of forgiveness because he embodies God and it is the nature of God to forgive. Before he can ask for something for himself, or say something to a follower who may be in ear shot, he speaks to God about you and me, he says “Father, forgive them.”
Even on the cross Jesus is ministering to us. Even on the cross after being humiliated, he does not allow the mob violence and his own execution change who he is. The sins of those killing him do not weigh him down, he is not burdened, or angered, or resentful, he does not yell out to the crowd “hey, I’m innocent! This is wrong.” He does no…

Humility

Daily reading: John 13:1-19 Holy Thursday 
Focus passage:So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. John 13:4-5
Christ who taught us to serve one another, begins the evening by bending down and tenderly cleaning off the dust from the road, washing and drying the feet of those that have been following him.
Christ seeks out, of empowers and supports even the wavering and often wrong disciples.
In the midst of a highly charged evening, when Jesus is sure that one will betray, one will deny and the others will scatter in fear, he still kneels down and washes.  
We are called even in the stress of our days, to follow the example of Christ; to seek out others, to serve one another and to do it with grace and love.
Be open to these opportunities today.When tasks pile up, or take over and become more important than oth…

Betrayal

Daily reading: John 13:21-30 Holy Wednesday 
Focus passage:After he said these things, Jesus was deeply disturbed and testified, “I assure you, one of you will betray me.”John 13:21
I am constantly aware of the vulnerability we are called to embrace in our faith community and in our closest relationships. I find that I expend a lot of energy guarding myself and yet God gently reminds me that our call is to love God and to love our neighbor and that means that we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
A mentor of mind, Rev. Herb Lynskey once posed this thought at a clergy retreat: “Judas was an answer to a prayer.” He was referring to when Jesus prayed before calling the Twelve.  I struggled with this thought because I like to vilify Judas to put him in his own box. I like to think that I would never be like him, that I would never betray a close friend. But to box him up so nicely keeps me from seeing a part of me I would rather not see. We all have the capability of being like Judas. We al…

Darkness and Light

Daily reading: John 12:20-36 Holy Tuesday 
Focus passage: Jesus replied, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light. After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.” John 12:35
So much of holy week happens in the dark. Jesus shared his last meal with his disciples under the cover of night, took them to the garden to pray in the darkness, was arrested and taken into custody all under the cover of night. He was then placed into a cell, which was most likely a hole in the ground that he was lowered into, dark and isolated. According to Luke, darkness descended upon Jerusalem at noon on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.  
As we remember the stories of Jesus’ last day this week, we hear Jesus urge us to walk in the light and not in the darkness. With the darkne…