Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Road Begins Here!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

On this Easter Sunday we are delighted to discover that the journey did not end on Good Friday.  Rather, this morning we find that God is taking us in new and surprising ways.  Let us give thanks to God for the wondrous thing he has done and is doing in and through Jesus.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen today!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

End of the Road?

By any standard of our world, our Lenten journey should have come to an awful, painful end yesterday.  His ministry was ended emphatically on a cross.  Perhaps he caused a little bit of a stir while traveling the highways and byways of Galilee and Judea.  Maybe he did enjoy his fifteen minutes of fame in Jerusalem.  But to what end?  So he could be executed beside a couple of crooks?  All of the teaching, healing, preaching, loving, challenging of Jesus was for naught the cynics and doubters, scoffers and savants said - and have said for 2,000 years.  The road Jesus journey came to an end on Calvary.  Yet we believe otherwise.  We, as Christians, believe that the cross was not the final destination.  We believe God's promises.  We hold the conviction that Jesus' story, his ministry, his presence, his power did not come to an end on Good Friday.  Far from it.  With hope, we anticipate that something more is to come.

This Holy Saturday, I invite you to reflect on your Lenten journey.  Pray on where it has brought you and what it has brought you.  Give thanks for all that has happened.  But when you're done, don't relax.  This is most definitely not, for Jesus or his people, the end of the road ...

Friday, March 25, 2016


It seemed apt that the day began with a cold, raw, rain.  It was as if Creation itself was mourning the horror and the injustice of what was done to Jesus.  On this day, we are called to confront the evil that can be wrought in our world.  Not that we should not be aware of this awful truth throughout the year, lest we become complacent or complicit.  But on this Good Friday, we gaze into the abyss.  We watch as the forces of hate, fear, ignorance, prejudice, chaos, and anomie lash out with all their fury and might.  We steel ourselves as Jesus takes the brunt of the assault for us, demonstrating conclusively how far God is willing to go on our behalf.

The morning will come.  We know this.  But first ... darkness.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Foot Washing

In many churches today the washing of feet will be a centerpiece of the Maundy Thursday liturgy.  This element of worship recalls Jesus' washing of feet and his exchange with Peter about what it means to be a servant to others.  As we enter into the Triduum, the three days leading up to Easter, consider how others have been a servant to you and how you may be a servant to others.  After you've reflected, let the Spirit guide you into putting your thoughts into faithful practice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I'm tired today.  This is a state not unknown to clergy during Holy Week.  But it's not so much everything that's happening this week that's leaving me drained as it is the world around me.  Yesterday's attacks in Brussels were just the most recent in a string of atrocities: Ankara, Ivory Coast ... San Bernadino ... the list goes on.  We are told that radical Islamists are behind the killing.  Some have responded by saying that all Muslims should be barred from entering the country.  Others suggest monitoring Muslim neighborhoods.  This doesn't seem very Christian to me.  Jesus told us to turn the other cheek.  When he did so, he didn't call us to be patsies - he was actually suggesting something provocative, something that took away control from the aggressor.  If Holy Week teaches us anything, it is that the forces of darkness in our world will take every opportunity to turn us against one another and thus hinder the advent of God's kingdom.  Responding to hate with hate and fear with fear only leads to more hate and more fear.  Yes, as a society we should be vigilant, determined, ready to fight for and shake off our complacency about the weak and the oppressed, prepared to take on those who kill and maim in the name of a twisted vision of their God.  But in doing so we should not let our vision of the God we have come to know also be warped.  We need to remember who has called us, who has saved us.  We need to be Christians when we confront evil lest we become prey to and pawns of evil itself.

So, yes, I'm tired today.  I'm saddened.  But I'm also hopeful.  Because I know in my heart that in the midst of the insanity and evil being let loose in our world, a good, loving, healing God of justice and mercy will be by our side.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Fallen World

I woke up this morning to the news of terrorists murdering travelers and commuters in Brussels.  Oftentimes, events like this are called tragedies.  In truth, they're outrages.  Murder in the name of God or a political ideology isn't something that happens to people; it's something that is intentionally done by some people to others.  Why one person would murder another person is a question that has been asked since the beginning of time.  Facile answers are all too easy to come by.  I know I can't offer a definitive explanation.

What I do know is this: later this week we will remember the murder of Jesus by those who were frightened, angry, ruthless, fallen.  And at that moment, God was present, experiencing Jesus' pain and suffering, ultimately turning it into something healing.  This morning I have no doubt that God is with the people of Brussels.  That may be small comfort to some.  I can understand that.  But when I consider the alternative - that we are alone, that the universe cares not a whit about us - I find the implications depressing and unbearable.  Humanity has shown itself to be capable of wondrous things but also too easily succumbs to barbarism.  Left to our own devices, we're in trouble.  But with God to lead us in a new direction, there can be hope.

This day, as we pray for those killed and injured in Belgium, as we lift up our fallen world before God, let us ask with humility and abandon, that the One who came to us in the person of Jesus will continue to be with us, showing us a better way, a path that will lead to the kingdom.

Monday, March 21, 2016

What Time Is It?

Yesterday was the first day of spring and this morning it was snowing.  Welcome to New England!

Weather jokes aside, snow in spring, though not unheard of in this region, is still disconcerting.  Our expectation is that with the arrival of spring, we can look forward to flowers blooming, birds singing, and the rebirth of a tired, sometimes bleak, landscape.  When it snows after spring has begun, it can feel as if our hopes of something warmer, better, newer were premature, even all for nought.  We can have moments like this in our spiritual lives, too.  Scripture tells us that God is already remaking the world, yet we look around and think we see no sign of a new creation.  Don't be fooled!  It's all around us. God is faithful to his promises.  Holy Week is an especially good time to remember just how reliable God really is.  At the darkest moment of history, God redeemed everything in and through Jesus.  What happened long ago, is still happening today.

What time is it?  It's God's time.  And for that we can be grateful, regardless of how much snow may fall today.