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Alleluia!

He is risen.  He is risen indeed!
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection, remembering when Jesus Christ was brought back to new life. We rejoice that hope has prevailed over despair, the light has overwhelmed the darkness, the life has triumphed over death!
Jesus Christ is risen today.
Alleluia!

Almost

Lent is almost over.  Easter is almost here.  Almost ... but not yet.  So rather than focus on everything you'll do when the future becomes the present, take time to focus on this moment, to repent, to pray, to reflect.  Think about what you've experience this season.  Meditate on Christ on the cross and what this says about God's love for creation and for you in particular.  Do these things and you'll be in better position to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection.

Gray Skies and Rain

The weather seems apt for Good Friday, at least here in the Upper Valley.  The skies are gray and drizzle falls from the sky. It is, in all, a depressing tableau.
It is on this day that death seemed to prevail, when Jesus was mocked, tortured, abandoned, crucified.  We've all seen pictures of Christ on the cross but how many of us have ever experienced that level of pain, of desolation?  How many of us have had a role in doing someone down? This is the moment we recognize just how cruel, how violent, how destructive humanity can be. 

On Sunday we will celebrate Easter, when we learn that Good Friday was not the end of the story.  But lest we fall prey to the dark temptations that entice us, let us meditate on what transpired on Golgotha.  Let us gather at the foot of the cross and see what men and women can do.
And let us remember that Christ went to the cross in spite of this, in spite of our failures, our indifference, our sin.  We will give thanks but first let …

The First Supper

The meal that Jesus shared with the disciples on the night before his crucifixion has come to be known as the Last Supper. It has been immortalized through Scripture, in art, and in an age of religious illiteracy, is still one of the most known incidents in Jesus' life.  It was here that Christ shared the bread and the cup, here we he set the outlines for what we know as communion, here that the earliest church found the model for living.
But why is it the last supper?  Yes, we know that it was the last one Jesus ate before he was executed.  But it was also the First Supper: it was here that he told us about the bread and the wine and what they symbolize, here that he first gave us this means to memorialize him.  It was here that the Lord's Supper was born.
Tonight, in this church and in many others around the world, we will remember with faith and gratitude the Last Supper, the First Supper, by sharing the Lord's Supper.

Spy Wednesday

I am not making this up.  Today is Spy Wednesday.  It's the day that Judas betrayed Jesus to the authorities. His skulking about was reminiscent of spies, who operate in the shadows. Voila, Spy Wednesday, which just might be the coolest name in the liturgical lexicon.  Of course, that's if you set aside what happened.
At the heart of the passion story is human failing. Fear, paranoia, betrayal, greed all come to the fore.  Some modern people might look for "root causes" to explain what happened, but if they do, they miss the point.  Jesus died because people acted badly: they did not have moral compasses, they did not have courage, they did not want to go to the light.  They sinned.  If society was flawed, it was because of the actions and choices of people.  This isn't to say that good people were not present, but they did not carry the day.  Men and women still sin today.  We are just as prone to stumble, fall, err, and fail as our forebears.
Eac…

No Name Day

I don't think today has a sobriquet.  Just like yesterday, this day is a No Name Day in Holy Week.  All of the others have names, famous or obscure.  So what do we do with this day?  Do we ignore it.  Of course not!  It's still a day made by the Lord, still a day in which to pray, love, work, play, help the poor, remember the marginalized, and more.  Don't wait for tomorrow; live this day to the fullest.

What Time Is It?

This morning, I gathered up the palms from yesterday's service and stowed them to be burned on Ash Wednesday of next year (March 6, if you'd like to mark your calendars). It's rather disorienting to think about next year's Lent, when this year's isn't even over.  But I was reminded that our sense of time, which we might call chronos, is not the same as God's, which we might refer to as kairos.
In recent years we've come to know a lot more about our universe, and just how strange it is.  We talk of the space time continuum, and wonder whether time must flow in one direction.  Time isn't just what we see on our watches.
As we await Good Friday and Easter, we prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we remember that these events have already occurred.  Yet when the liturgy is alive, we can feel as if we are experiencing them for the first time.  My hope and prayer is that you are alive to Holy Week, that it all seems fresh…