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He Is Risen!

He is risen!

Light overwhelms the darkness.  Hope conquers despair.  Life has the final world over death.

He is risen.

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia! Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Waiting

And now we wait.

We wait in the shadow of the cross, before the sealed tomb.  We know what we have lost.  Yet we wonder ... might there be more?  We hope so, we pray so.  Though the world tells us it is finished - after all, did not Jesus say this himself? - but we yearn for more.  So rather than give up, we will wait.

For grace, for salvation, for new life.

Darkness

Today is Good Friday and the sun is shining.  The morning is bright, and the hours ahead seem rife with possibility.  Yet we who profess to follow Jesus are focused on what happened on this day long ago.  We recall the hate that made itself known in a court, in a city, on a hill 2000 years in the past.  We know the same darkness makes itself felt in our age.  And while we know this is not the end of the story, while we confess that God has the last, saving word, we are quiet this day, mindful of the wrong that humans can and do perpetrate against one another.  On this Good Friday, we remember the sacrifice that God made of himself on our behalf and we remember, too, the broken nature of the world that necessitated such a gift.

The sun is indeed shining this day.  But it is dark.

Service

In the day's reading from John we learn that Jesus insisted on washing the feet of his followers.  This act of service was a striking example of the kind of leadership Jesus offered and what he thought it meant for him to be a king.  In today's world, we often hear talk about "servant leadership."  Here we see what it means: a self-giving, self-denying assistance to others, no questions asked.

Today, I invite us to reflect on how we might better serve God's people, not just those we know, but the stranger, too.  Not just those we like or love, but those with whom we are at odds.  Then, let us go serve others as God in Jesus served you and me.

Rain

It's cooler today than it was yesterday and the sunshine has been replaced with rain.  In short, the weather is tracking Holy Week.  We've gone from the sun and warmth of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem into something a bit more, well, darker.  I won't say that God is manipulating the weather.  But I will give him credit for giving me the ability to see the connection.

What other connections might we draw?  Well, rain may stop us from playing outside, but it also nourishes the earth, enabling things to grow.  So, too, Holy Week and Lent as a whole.  We need this time of reflection, repentance and renewal if we are to be able to in any way welcome the Risen Christ into our lives on Easter Sunday.

So, yes, it's raining today.  And it may do so tomorrow.  But fear not: Christ is coming, regardless of the weather.

Easter is Sunday! Are You Ready?

"Easter is Sunday! Are You Ready?"

This statement and question combo were offered by an internet provider.  The implicit answer is that I'm not but if that I avail myself of their services, all will be well.  Well, perhaps, if my need is a table for a meal.  But if it's to be ready for the resurrection of our Lord?  Um, no.  I am not ready, nor will I be so on Sunday, despite my attempts this Lent to get my spiritual house in order.


Please don't misunderstand; I've tried.  I've prayed.  I've abstained.  I've tried to be more focused.  But the truth is that there is nothing I can do to be fully prepared for the amazing thing that God is going to do.  Still, I try, because I should.  Because I want to.  I'll keep trying after Sunday, too.

What about you?  Are you ready?  Probably not, if you're human.  But that's okay.  Keep on preparing.  God will understand.

Spring is Coming

It's a glorious day.  The sun shines, the temperatures are rising, buds are emerging.  Spring is coming.

However, it's not here yet.  Not really.  Sure, the calendar suggests it arrived last month, but for those of us in New England, we know that winter is lurking.  It's ready to pop out and surprise us with a visit or two or even three before it recedes for a few months.  Sin is like that, too.  We think it's behind us, but in truth, it has merely gone quiet.  It will return.

The good news, though, is that while winter may lurk, spring will always come.  Sometimes we have to be patient, sometimes we have to be strong.  But string will come.  So, too, will relief from sin through the God who made himself know in Jesus.  We'll have a reminder of that truth this coming Sunday.

This Holy Week, I invite you to join me in thinking about and praying on the advent of the spring we know in the Risen Christ and of what this can mean for our lives.  Spring is comin…