Four decades after my two-year sojourn in Japan, where I lived after college, I still draw wisdom from Zen koans.
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“The last time I wasn’t afraid I didn’t understand.”
So said one of the several teens I met with last week over pizza as several clergy and other adults listened to our young people talk about their fears in the wake of the Parkland shooting. I invited them to help churches in the diocese shape our worship services on Sunday, June 3, which is part of a gun violence prevention weekend. They were willing to do that, but first they needed to tell their stories – and we adults needed to listen.
The "now what?" is the perhaps the most important of the three questions, because the impact and power of the Resurrection depends, in large measure, on how we carry it forward.
Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was murdered with a high-powered rifle.
Today, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, a man who spoke to the conscience of a nation through his words of nonviolence.
Holy Saturday - Psalm 27
We are at rest while the body of Jesus lies in the tomb. We do not know when the moment of resurrection occurred two thousand years ago. But we, who know the end of this story, know that the crucifixion was not the end of the Jesus story. We do not know how the story ended, but we that it ended in triumph. Right now we can rest.
Good Friday: Psalm 22
This psalm begins with the familiar words: (v: 1) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress? But it continues (v: 18) Be not far away, O Lord; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
The last 9 verses of this thirty verse psalm are in praise of God and are devoid of any lament.
In the Christian faith, God gave God’s love away by creating the Incarnation – which turned out to be the person of Jesus. And Jesus’ love for humanity was given away when he offered himself up to death. God gave us Jesus, and Jesus gave us his life – all done with a love that was given away. And in both cases, the love continues.
Jesus has it all planned out. Two of his disciples are to walk into the town until they see a man with a water jar. He will be unique as carrying water is the job of women. When and how Jesus made all these preparations we do not know. But this meal, this Passover meal, is very important and so he planned carefully. I am sure you or someone in your family makes careful plans for special meals for your Thanksgiving and other special occasions. They are special times.
Psalm 55: 13, 14, 15
For had it been an adversary who taunted me, then I could have borne it;
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me, then I could have hidden from him.
But it was you, a man after my own heart, my companion, my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together, and walked with the throng in the house of God.