Showing posts from March, 2012

Palm Sunday Reflections

Read the Passion from St. Mark -  Mark 14:1-15:47 Keeping Secrets Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday – which is it?  It used to be that we would celebrate the Sunday a week before Easter as Palm Sunday and that the entire service would be given over to this.  When the green LBW was issued in 1973 the Day became Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion.  Some suggested that the reason was because so few people came to worship during Holy Week that including the Passion Narrative on Palm Sunday was the only way to make sure that the majority of people in our congregations experienced the Passion.  There is some truth to the fact that attendance at Holy Week services has dropped off in the last 20/30 years.  This is distressing because if we, as Christians, only experience the glory and celebration of Easter Sunday, we have missed most of the important parts of the story.  The fact is that Easter without Good Friday; Easter without the Passion of Christ is really trite triumphalism a

Reflections on the Text for Lent V - Jeremiah 31:27-34

Read the text here: Jeremiah 31:27-34 Covenant & Hope The prophet Jeremiah had railed against the leadership and the people of Judah for their unfaithfulness.  God had initiated a Covenant with them; God had made a promise, but the people had a responsibility to be faithful and they had failed miserably. But now the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins, the King and the leadership were either in chains or dead and, worst of all, the temple was destroyed. The people of Judah were now driven out of their land and taken to Babylon as slaves.  Everything looked dark.  Hope was dead.  The melody of the covenant had been snuffed out.  There was no future for what remained of Israel and Judah. Or, perhaps, there was hope.  The angry prophet Jeremiah changes his tune and now speaks words of comfort; The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.   Jeremiah takes up the tune of the covenant, but it is a n

Reflections on Exodus 20 – Lent III

Read the text - Exodus 20:1-20 Rules of Engagement Our lives are shaped by rules and laws – are they not?   From the time we are very young we learn to live within rules.   “Don’t run in the hall; always look both ways; don’t talk to strangers.”   These are important rules. These rules keep our children safe, even if sometimes our children don’t like some of the rules.   But even as adults we live under rules and laws.   These are important for our society and for us as well. They keep our communities structured and safe.   I think it is safe to say that we as a whole have great respect for the law and for the rules of community.   And all we have to do is look at the banking/housing crisis from 2008 (of which we are still feeling the effects) to see what kind of pain and anarchy can occur when we either ignore or circumvent the rules or when there are not enough rules to properly guide and regulate.   We would think that our own sense of morality and concern

Reflections on the Texts for Lent II – Genesis 17 & Mark 8

Read the texts: Mark 8:27-38 and Genesis 17:1-17 Doubt/Disappointment/Promise I am El Shaddai… I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous… You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations… And with these words from the beginning of Genesis 17, God again repeats and reminds Abram of his promise and of the covenant.   This is not the first time Abram had heard this promise.   The first time was in chapter 12 and this will continue for a while.   The years pass, Abram and Sarai get older and older, God repeats the promise and they continue on.   I can almost imagine Abram quietly rolling his eyes and thinking, “yeah, yeah, promises, promises!”   It is obvious that Abram and Sarai (as they are named at first) doubt this promise.   Abram says all the right things to God, but then his actions betray a lack of confidence in God’s promise. And then there is the laughter.   Abraham laughs at the notion that he and Sarah were