Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not Droids: The Life in a Psalm and the Road to Emmaus

Their heads were down, their hearts were tossed about. Looking back just hardly one week, they couldn’t recall very much.  Following Jesus, who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things, that they left their nets, and their stability, and followed him.  When they came into the city strangers shouted Hosanna as he passed. Such an upswing, then it all went wrong. He was arrested, and they didn’t know what to do.  Some froze, some ran, some lurked, some stayed. Our Jesus was tried by the powers that be and he was killed by the same.  Accused of rebellion and blasphemy, these two friends were known to be with him.  Maybe they wondered if they should flee the battle, or remain and resist?

Now at this moment, they are more confused than before. The women say he is risen.  That his tomb was empty.  Apparently, an angel told them ‘Be not afraid. ‘ Yeah right.  Not knowing what to do,  these two friends of Jesus left the city. When I imagine these two departing friends of Jesus, I imagine a barren landscape.  An empty road and sand dunes to the left and to the right. Shoulders hunched over, emotional blinders like a helmet over their heads.  Two friends traveling, rather lost in a desert, and very much alone is what comes to my mind. I see two people with little idea of where they are going or what they will do next.

Our imagining of biblical settings is influenced by many many things.  The clothes we wear and the wishfulness of our hearts,  the households we grew up in and art in all its forms.  I realized this week that the scene that is consistently in my mind for this walk to Emmaus is likely WRONG.  Because what I see is two friends on a desert landscape.   Jettisoned from a battle they didn’t understand, with knowledge they couldn’t comprehend.  I realized this week that what I am actually imagining is R2D2 and C3P0 on Tatooine.  Two robots escaping the chaos, a golden humanoid stiffly walking and smaller blue and white barrel rolling along on a lonely planet in the Star Wars universe.  A scene that is probably not anything like the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus.

In some ways the mash-up in my head is right, when we first meet those droids they have escaped a confusing battle, and it is fair to say that the experience of the disciples and friends of Jesus could have felt much the same.  The part where my imagined scene is wrong is the emptyness.  The actual Emmaus has been lost in the sands of time, but all the probable sites are within 15 miles of Mount Zion.  This Emmaus journey begins and ends in Jerusalem, the holy city on the tail end of the largest festival of them all, the Passover.  The roads in and out of Jerusalem would have been like a hive with bees in spring, coming and going in every direction.

There is much confusion and disorienting busyness in our readings today.  We begin with an Acts segment, where Peter is proclaiming what might be the first recorded speech of the Jesus movement.  It is a slice of the Pentecost speech, right after all that unusualness.  Then our Psalm is a Thanksgiving psalm, or at least it has all the parts of one.  But they are sort of out of order like someone dropped their essay and put it back together in a hurry.  Our texts are full of puzzles and problems and misunderstandings.  Our texts are much like us.  Real Easter stories, colored with the strangeness of proclaiming and following Christ as Lord in a world that all the while continues in its chaos and cruelty.

In general, scholars believe that behind many Psalms are real stories. Real moments when the cords of death entangled someone or some community. The Psalms continue to reach out to us, call us to say and pray them again and again, because we continue to find ourselves in them.  We can see in Psalms three directions: ORIENTATION, DISORIENTATION, AND REORIENTATION. (Bruggemann)  This Emmaus episode is rather like the full story we find behind a psalm of re-orientation.  It is that part of our story where we didn’t know what was going on, where everything seemed lost and overwhelming, and how through revelation and sacred community we were turned back toward holiness.

Let me tell you of one more part of the story that may not be in the text, but can be in our experience of reorientation.  I have a friend, let’s call him Finn. Finn is kind and good and fairly conventional.  But well, there is this social keep silent thing that happens in our culture.  Where if you don’t know something in a conversation or a lecture, it is pretty normal to just keep going.  Maybe look it up later.  Pretend like you know what is going on.   My friend Finn, he doesn’t seem to care about that social norm. He asks questions, all the time.  When we had first met I recall thinking, ‘I cannot believe you just asked that!’  We have wondered for a while how we became friends, and this made hold the clue. He was new to the Episcopal church, he had questions, and I tended to have answers, or at least knew where to find them.

The reorientation of Easter isn’t complete on this side of the tomb.  If anything Easter only creates a lifetime of questions.  If your last effort at having an inquiring mind in regards to your faith was long long ago,  it is time to be re-oriented,  God is calling you to make a u-turn.  If your most recent Christian formation experience was before anyone ever heard of R2D2 or C3P0, then you just might very much feel that you are all alone in a desert landscape, or even feel like a broken ship stuck in the sand.  

Last week we baptized young Ms. M,  and as part of that rite we make baptismal promises again.  The very first one is to ‘continue in the apostles teaching, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.’  It is both a plain directive and a little bit of one that might need some clearer answers.  Continue in the apostles teaching means continuing to be in community studying scripture and tradition and experience and history.  Continuing to be explorers who are questioning and growing. Be like the apostles, people who got it right and got it wrong, but kept on following the Way and asking questions.

The Breaking of the bread promise is a little less cloaked, a promise to share in the sacramental life together.  Baptism is once, communion is again and again and again.  Same story, different key: God welcomes you and our neighbors, welcomes questions, seeks transformation and unity that we know can be found in common prayer and holy meals.  We are travelers on a journey together, feasting and asking and getting turned back around.  We do not have to be lost and lonely droids on a desert road.

Authentic practitioners of the way of Jesus are lifelong learners. I used to think my pal Finn and his questions were outrageous. Now I wish that more of us would name our questions out loud. I don’t have Jedi mind reading skills, neither does Andrew and nor will your next Rector.  We need your help. We need you to name the questions you have like you are sitting with Jesus and breaking bread.  What are your questions and how can we help you be lifelong learners?  How can we do our duty to help you continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship?

You can destroy the death star, not once but twice, you can have fireworks and dancing Ewoks, but tomorrow is another day and there is still bitterness and grief all across the galaxy.  The Emmaus story bears the orientation, disorientation and the reorientation of our life as followers in the Jesus movement. Easter is both the glorious triumphal ending, and it is only the beginning of our journey.  

We are on a crowded road together, rumbling with the middle of a story where the work of Easter is not over yet.  The movement will not survive placidness, and self-satisfaction, or heads down thinking you already know what you need to know.  Jesus has come alongside you in the crowded rumble of our life right now. Imagine that scene. Who is with you?  What is the landscape like? What do you want to ask Jesus? What might he ask of you?  Will you continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread and in the prayers? We will with God’s help.

Easter 3A - RCL
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Walla Walla. Washington

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

That's So Metal: Tenebrae Shaped By Youth

Somewhere in the many writings of Fredrick Buechner is an essay titled something like 'Adolescence: The Stewardship of Pain'.  The essay was lovely, but it has been the title that has stuck with me over time.  Perhaps all life, perhaps all periods of stress and change could be understood more completely as a stewardship of pain.  Life can be wretched and denying it doesn't help.  Life can be wretched and throughout our lives, we hit the new miry pit moments and have to find a way to care for self and others through it.

They had a struggle to get out of the thicket.  The thorns and briars were as tough as wire and as clinging as claws.  Their cloaks were rent and tattered before they broke free at last.  ‘Now down we go, Sam,” Frodo whispered. ‘Down into the valley quick, and then turn northward, as soon as ever we can.’ Day was coming again in the world outside, and far beyond the glooms of Mordor the sun was climbing over the eastern rim of Middle-earth; but here all was still dark as night.  The mountain smoldered and its fires went out.  The glare faded from the cliffs.  The easterly wind that had been blowing ever since they left Ithilien now seemed dead.  Slowly and painfully they clambered down, groping, stumbling, scrambling among the rock and briar and dead wood in the blind shadows, down and down until they could go no further.
J.R.R. Tolkien

For many many years I have sought ways to more deeply involve young people in the practices of Holy Week.  I used to practice a young people's stations of the cross with things to touch and taste at each biblical station (which I should maybe write up sometime).  Here at St. Paul's for four years the youth group has offered the Tenebrae service.  Known as a service of shadows, Tenebrae dives into the brokenness and darkness of life that leads to the cross.  When I first began engaging the youth group in this service we had a handful of senior high boys who loved death metal music.  They described the service as the 'metal' service.  I had to ask a few questions (and read a few things online) before I realized how right they are.

This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe... I don't know, maybe we'll learn to play this game like men.
Remember the Titans

The general structure is much like other Tenebrae traditions, and some of the prayers and readings come from 'authorized' sources.  We start with lots of candles lit, and shadow by shadow, more are extinguished.  Part of our youth ministry work during Lent is looking at each shadow and talking about the 'other' readings that go with them.  The 'other' readings are excerpts from films we have watched or books they are reading in school, or in personal reading.  We keep some readings from year to year, and others are changed.  In four years we have had excerpts from Buffy and Firefly episodes, moments from The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hunger Games, the Blind Side and even the lyrics to a death metal song.

“But they were not living, thought Harry: They were gone. The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents' moldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing. And tears came before he could stop them, boiling hot then instantly freezing on his face, and what was the point in wiping them off or pretending? He let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.”
 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My hopes for this service are two-fold.  First to involve our very busy young people in the real practices of Holy Week.  Secondly, to help create a practice of critical thinking about faith. Placing their experience and their leadership in the heart of Holy Week is one way to connect authentically.  We don't have the most preachy youth group, we are mostly focused on fellowship and geekiness; but always concluded in shared prayer.  We practice the rhythm of life together and I believe it is this approach that makes Tenebrae work.  Each season it doesn't take very long to come up with many many options each year, many moments of brokenness and challenge in the media.  We probably could fill hours with them.   Yet we choose just seven, seven quotes that are reflections of our lives, a way to name the pain without confessing too much of our own.  It is a service of shadows, and a service of hope.  The metal service, Tenebrae.

If you would like a copy of this years service, please contact me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Three Mandate Thursday: Serve, Do, Love

Tonight is a night that does not need many more words to teach what it means.Like the principles of Godly Play, tonight we are immersed in the materials of these sacred stories.  We touch and feel and dive deeply into the holy word.  It doesn’t need many more words, but like our lessons downstairs,  I do want to offer a few heart shaping words. You may not know that the word maundy is rooted in the French word for mandate.  It is perhaps more understandable to call our night Mandate Thursday.  Jesus gives us three mandates this night: serve, do, love.

The first is a mandate of loving service.  I came not to be served but to serve, and you are one with me when you do likewise.  Washing someone is a fiercely intimate moment, and sometimes I think our anxiety about the foot washing of this night is less about the condition of our well to do feet and more about the intimacy it demands.  This is service that isn’t clean or comfortable or distant. Jesus’ mandate of deep muscular service to enemy and stranger is a daring invitation into holy vulnerability.

The second mandate of the night is ‘do this in remembrance of me’. What we remember this evening is often called the Last Supper. But that is confusing because while it’s not the first, it’s not really the last either.  So often when he appears in his resurrected glory his invitation is to a feast.  So I wonder what else could we call it other than the last supper?  What makes this supper distinctive is the mandate, so what if we called it the directive dinner?  This night is like and unlike most of the other times when we gather around the table, break bread, share wine and do so in remembrance of him.  Every week we are offered just a sample of the tastes, but in it we are given the full presence of his promise.  Small or large these meals are not about confessional statements or monstrous magics.  They are about the mystery of relationships made and deepened through communal food and communal prayer.  Tables are where we tell our stories, where we break bread and where we are transformed.

Here on this night family and strangers and friends gather, we hear these stories and say these prayers, we eat this food and become these people. Eat this, become me. Drink this, be united. Is there anyone you know well, who you would follow like Jesus invites us to, with whom you have not regularly shared food? Throughout Jesus’ life it is his table fellowship and his table stories that throw all standards of who is in and who is out right off the table.  ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ is Jesus’ mandate of deep table fellowship with neighbor and betrayer, is a daring invitation into a reconciled world.

Third mandate is to love as Jesus loves. Holy Week and Easter is very much about overcoming systems of injustice and cruelty and brokenness, but it is also not just about that. Holy Week and Easter are very much about the strange mystery of how Jesus is alive in us and present this very moment, but it is also not just about that. This week, this time, this day, practiced, again and again, is about God made flesh in Christ Jesus in whose life the lives and sufferings of his friends and followers are entirely bound up.  Jesus carries God’s healing presence into the the heart of human suffering and cruelty.  Love one another he says, he says it as he is being betrayed.  Love one another he says, as he is being scapegoated.  Love one another he says, as the worst of our anxieties and shame move us to strike him down.  Sometimes, most of the time, I can barely wrap my mind around the notion that God who loved us so much that he became one of us.  Became human knowing that the challenge of God made flesh would lead us to strike down this prophet, friend, messiah, Lord. How could God love such twisted and selfish children who respond to him in this way?

How is the harder question, it is a brain question, that may never be able to comprehend the answer.
Yet what the mind can barely touch, my soul can know by heart. Jesus’ mandate of living a deep abiding love for all that he loves is leaning in harder than we know how to do without having spent regular time with him in service and at table. Serve, Do, Love.  This is our mandate.  Jesus gives us not a question of how, but an answer of how.  Serve, Do, Love.  

once again, the liturgy itself preaches much more than any homily.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Walla Walla, Washington, USA
April 13, 2017

Original Vigils and the Rainbow Easter

It was over four years ago now.  My first winter here in Walla Walla and the staff were discussing the Easter and Holy Week schedule when the Vigil came up.  Easter Vigil that is.  I was startled by the bellyaching: 'We put so much work in and nobody comes.  Maybe we should just encourage folks who are interested to go elsewhere.  Maybe we should cancel.'

Long before I touched down here I had been pondering the Vigil and its hits and misses.  As I explained a few years ago, it should be like Opening Day at the ballpark, and sometimes it is more like an overdone halftime show or a complete snooze.  So I took a big swing at the sudden gap in left field: I deconstructed the Vigil and offered instead an 'Original Vigil'.  It was at a home, around a fire pit.  Families told the sacred stories, we shared the parts of the liturgy, and then had an old style bread and wine and cheese and grapes and olives Eucharistic feast.  It was awesome and felt like Easter, even in the second year when it was much colder outside.

The next year, well, the short version is, there was a big staff change.  At the time we were in the Holy Week planning stages we had gone months without a settled priest, and didn't know when we would see an Interim.  One of the tasks of interim ministry (I would later learn) is to reconnect with the centers of the tradition.  I felt is was important in that time period to bring it back to the church property and into the nave.  We brought back into the vigil liturgy some of the classic pieces but strived to keep the informal and family friendly atmosphere. Sometimes we still call it 'original', sometimes we do not.  I admit that it isn't for everybody (no nosebleeds), but it felt like Easter.   All the deep meaning making symbols and actions: like fires shared and feasts celebrated, but really no trace of the sedate.

I think that part of the reason I wanted to reshape the Vigil was because done well, it teaches without saying 'now we are teaching'.  The symbols of fire and light, the dark nave, the stories that go back to the start.   I was taught to ask in each sermon, what does the congregation most need to hear?  For me, on that night, there isn't a whole lot more they needed to hear.   After having spent four seasons shaping and reshaping this liturgy in search of 'natural formation' I found myself surprisingly stumped by what to preach.  In my heart, the shape of the liturgy does that.  Yet still, there I was, slated to preach that night.  So what follows is a somewhat all over the place, but enthusiastic, homily/apologetic.

If you would like to get a look at the bulletin for this year's vigil, please contact me at St. Paul's!

All by ourselves, all on our own in the wasteland of discarded hopes and trampled dreams of Holy Week,  we might conclude that there isn’t enough of anything to undo what has been done. Our Lord and master was put to death, he was laid in a tomb.  All seems dark, all we might know is that we feel scared.  I wonder if the followers of Jesus thought to run, or if they were paralyzed.  On our best days we are brave ones, holy ones, better people doing good. On other days we give up, retreat into the ark during the storm.  We might even take what we have made and throw it in the waste bin, because it didn’t go as we had expected.

What might that first moment of creation felt like for God? What surge of delight was the big bang really like? Was it a glowing gentle tickle or like leaping from a plane? Yet, what we do know is that for all the first blush, it wasn’t long before the rejoicing was interrupted. God found something perhaps sad, perhaps unexpected.  On the other side of love was grief. Disappointment about our lazy hearts and selfishness and violence. Was it the tears of the Creator, that covered the earth in a sea of grief?  Yet then, beyond the storms, it is as if that first spark of light passed through the mist of God’s heartbreak, and from the angle of love, set a rainbow in the sky.

Again and again the story continues, with God bending down to his people sunk in terror,raising us from that miry pit.  God’s presence gives direction to exiles, brings life to futures believed dead and gone.  I could read you pages and pages of scholarly texts about what happens this night, but it probably wouldn’t do much good.  Because Easter is something that you taste and see and do.  

None of our gospels tell us what actually happened in the dark of Jesus’ tomb.  We don’t read of first heartbeats, the light returning to his eyes or breath coming to his lungs. All we are told is of the result, all we hear is ‘be not afraid’.  Christ is risen from the dead, he is not have the mission, Go! God’s spark of life burns up all our lostness and begins something new.  Easter is a thanksgiving, a firework, a celebration that throws a rainbow of energy on all our flatness and deadness.

This is the Easter Vigil, and around here we celebrate it a little bit different.  A few years ago we took it out of the nave, into a home and a backyard.  We share it like we are the ancients gathered around the fire, telling our stories, sharing our grief and our joy.  We also went back to the beginning of the church, before buildings and orders and dioceses, and practiced Vigil in a home, like the first Christians did.  We stripped it back to its heart and recreated this Vigil.  I don’t know what it was like before I came, but...I love vigil, but I have also been to Vigil’s that were beautiful, but so flat and so distant and so complicated, that people skipped it, or slept right through it. Which is tough because on this night, unlike all other nights, the experience of God’s life should be like that brilliant rainbow, so  bright, so striking, that you want to follow it.

This is why we take the time to ignite the fire, burn the candles, share the voices, throw on the lights and sing the songs.  Easter is a glow that you taste and see and do.  This is why we take the time to journey through the big story of how God keeps reaching into our disasters and bringing us back to wholeness again and again and again. The angel says we are to not be afraid.  Be not afraid of all the strangeness and danger and complexity of our very real challenges. Be not afraid because Easter is a way of life that we taste, and see, and do.  Not all on our own, but together, with you and me and the ancients and the future, and with God and with Christ and with the Holy Spirit.

We do this on this night in this rainbow way (the bulletin is printed with different colors for different voices), where all ages claim a voice in the whole liturgy,  to tell an important part of the story that gets trampled over much too often.This is everybody's story it's for all of us to tell, it’s for all of us to share, it's for all people to find their part in: not just those of us who regularly wear white gowns. Don’t know what’s going on? Guess what, neither did the disciples. Be Not Afraid..Go anyways.  To quote singer-songwriter Ben Folds, ‘If you are paralyzed by the voice in your head, it is the standing still that should be scaring you instead.’  Easter is a practice that you can taste and see and do.  Alleluia. Amen.

And for a different perspective, check out this post by Steve W.
Thanks to Earl Blackaby and Michelle Janning for the Vigil photos.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Walla Walla, Washington, USA
April 15, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Danxiety: Timeliness and Grace in the Delay

Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.  But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

What we heard today in our Gospel reading was around 800 words of an emotionally dense few days in the ministry of Jesus and some of his closest friends.  If I were designing a lectionary I am not sure I would choose this lesson for the time of Lent, placing it here on the last Sunday before Holy Week. It isn’t a resurrection story, even though it can easily seem like one. Especially when paired with the Ezekiel lesson where the Spirit of God is putting flesh on dry bones and raising a whole valley to new life.

The sentence after the end of our Gospel reading today is this: But some of them went to Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. After the 800 or so words of our assigned reading there was a choice not to include 15 more. 15 words whose time is most certainly Lent. I am frustrated by that choice. I feel like the powers who chose the lectionary have wasted our time. I confess that I wrestle with timeliness. I was raised by parents who feel that if you are not very early, you are late.  My rebellion in adulthood was to try to learn how to be exactly on time, which I still don’t accomplish very often.  If I want to be fashionably late to a party,  I have to schedule in that fashionably late time. And I still usually get there earlier.  A Czech priest I knew had a nickname for me that meant ‘windy’. Because I am like the wind,  always rushing.

Untimeliness is a place where I experience dissatisfaction and anxiety and even shame. Nurture or nature?  Both.  I am who I am.   I come to every text with my whole life, we all do. I know I am reading more uneasiness and distress into this gospel than is probably really there. Yet when I imagine myself as Martha or Mary or one of their family and friends or neighbors...the people who loved Jesus and who have sacrificed and given much for his mission, I am bothered. I know Bethany is a dangerous place for him, Jesus was nearly stoned there.I know the cruel powers that he frightens are lurking. But if I knew Jesus delayed, when this was a life and death moment, and he seemed to pause intentionally?

If those moments where you are irritable because you are hungry is called hangry, what do we call those moments where you are irritated because of delay?  danxious?

Some commentators fret that Martha’s statement, Lord if you had been here...  isn't showing enough respect and is perhaps, whiney.  Others say it is a very plausible interaction between family and friends. But, sometimes I don’t feel like she is nearly mad enough. Yet it is exactly that emotion that forces me to ask what do I believe about time and grace.  What do I believe about God’s power over things that to you and me seem late or slow or dead?  It forces me into the question of how I can be less than gracious when I measure Jesus by blocks on a calendar.

Our text today is in the heart of John’s gospel the very center of it is the foot washing and dinner that comes on Maundy Thursday,  which is followed by the betrayal and cross and the outrageous shock of Easter.  Words on a page the binding of papers in a book lead us into an assumption that one thing comes after the other, and the end is the most important part. Yet here in the gospel, the center of the story radiates meaning in all directions. Jesus has said ‘ I am the good shepherd.’   Today he says,‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ Strong echoes of the name God gives of himself when Moses asks.  I am who I am, or perhaps it should be translated I will be who I will be.  God is unbound by all the ways and means we crush each other with our definitions of alive and dead, black and white, on time and late.

My reading my frustrations about timeliness into the text is my issue, not God’s, except that God loves me, loves us, all the way through it, even when my doubt is dead wrong. God comes to us, holds us in the pauses and gaps, steadies me in my danxious moments that cause me to rush and push. When I pile all my calendaring into this gospel lesson I don’t see that everything else is taken care of over those four days when Lazarus is in his tomb.  People are fed and sheltered.  
Community gathers and attends to its duties.  Everything was fine, not perfect or comic, but more than good enough.

A thin Christian practice believes that God is a genie, that Jesus is manipulatable by human timelines. A thin practice is one governed by being easily anxious and hoping for a shiny road and simple answers.  The Jesus I know and follow isn’t thin.  The thick texture of holiness he invites us into has curves I cannot understand and a pace that is not ours.  Gods Spirit fill's those moments that feel like a delay with sustaining dense muscular grace, even in the dark valley that lay ahead in Holy Week.

We may not want any difficult three or four days ever. And when they surely arrive, we may want them to be done as soon as possible. But God is with us and for us in this, densely holding us beyond all our concepts of time and space. I don't know what time looks like to God. I imagine it like the cosmos itself or sci fi movie versions of interwoven dimensions going in every direction. I do trust that God’s time doesn't go left from right, it doesn't match with my to do lists nor fit in the grids on my devices, and will not be rushed by my coffee fueled pace.

The center of Jesus’ being is the same as God’s being, that is the good news of this day and all time. This Trinitarian center is the time and home of our true dimension. Sometimes I confine myself, and sometimes I try to confine God on the wrong page. Jesus challenges my issues around rushing and timeliness that only seem to make me feel satisfied, but ultimately leave us less at peace, needlessly exhausted, and further from the God who calls himself ‘I am who I am’. My work in Lent every year is to move from these false calendars to the true dimension of time and space where Jesus holds, guides, and forgives me, especially the rushing judgy danxious with him parts. I am the resurrection, and the life, he says.

Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

Lent 5 A RCL
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Walla Walla, Washington, USA

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