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Remember How He Told You

Sunday, March 31, 2013 — The Resurrection of Our Lord - Easter Day — Luke 24:1-12

The women had hoped that things would be different. Jesus had generated so many hopes and dreams. But all of that came to a grinding and screeching halt with His death. The promise of a new kind of life and a new kind of world was now broken and shattered like all the other broken promises that litter the human landscape. It was back to business as usual. “On the first day of the week” they went back to a world which they had once hoped would be different but now sadly and obviously was not. It was another day and another week in a world where only the rich and powerful keep their promises and all they promise is to do is impose their will on the rest of us. The women went to tomb to complete the rituals of death and finish their grieving. Like all of us, they have resigned themselves to living in a world where promises are continually broken, where dreams are constantly disappointed, where hopes always seem to become illusions and where finally all you just want to do is go off and cry.

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Monday….. Thursday?

Thursday, March 28, 2013 — Maundy Thursday — I Corinthians 11:23-26 / John 13:1-17. 31b-35

I remember as a child being utterly confused by this day in the middle of Holy Week. I thought it was called “Monday Thursday.” That was odd. It sounded like it was two different days at once, Monday and Thursday. Later I figured out that I had it wrong. It was something altogether different. It was MAUNDY Thursday.

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A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 — Lenten Vespers 5 — Isaiah 53:4-7 / Mark 10:42-45

The last week I have heard a lot of complaining about the weather. It is too cold, too wet and too cloudy. I remind the complainers that we are simply experiencing the consequences of the law of averages. Last March we had record-breaking warmth. This March reminds us that the mean temperature, the average temperature, is rarely the norm. Lest I get smug about this, I admit that I too have my list of complaints. We all do. If we don’t complain about the weather, we complain about being stuck in traffic, about the grade we got on a test, our paycheck or simply that our team lost in the basketball tournament. These complaints seem trivial when compared to the big stuff that goes south on us: the unexpected death of loved one, the diagnosis we dreaded, the job loss we never saw coming or the betrayal by someone we trusted. Behind every complaint is the conviction that something has gone wrong. This is not the way things should be. This is unfair. We did not get what we deserve. In contrast to our perpetual griping is the image of Jesus in tonight’s Lenten hymn. He goes faithfully to the cross, carrying out his mission, never flinching or uttering a complaint.

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Jesus and the Poor

Sunday, March 17, 2013 — Lent 5 C — John 12:1-8

I remember when I didn’t want to eat my mother’s stuffed peppers. She would tell me, “Just think of all the poor and starving children in Africa who have nothing to eat.” I would think of all those starving kids, feel guilty and choke down my stuffed peppers. But after a while, the guilt would wear off. I would look at the stuffed peppers and think, “I bet the poor and starving kids in Africa are going to hate this stuff as much as I do. Besides, how is this food on my plate going to help feed the poor and starving in Africa when they are over 10,000 miles away?” I decided that my mother’s concern was less for the poor and starving in Africa than that her cooking not go to waste.

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Let’s Party!

Sunday, March 10, 2013 — Lent 4C — Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

This party will serve first class food all the way. They will kill the fatted calf. We are not talking about cheese spread on stale crackers here or sliced cucumbers and a few olives on saltines. There will be fine wine and craft beer at an open bar. This party will serve the finest cuisine: roast duck, veal cutlet, filet mignon, Alaskan lobster and Cornish hen. The music is going to be more than a disk jockey playing noisy recorded pop music that is so loud than you can’t hear yourself talk. This party is going to have live music . . . . a chamber orchestra from the symphony, Joshua Bell with his violin, Bruce Springsteen with the E Street band and for those who like crooners, Michael Buble. They will even take your personal requests. There will be dancing for those who want to get out on the floor and move to the music. Of course, these days no one ever needs to have taken a class from Arthur Murray to be considered a dancer. Anyone can do the “chicken dance.” Although, some would be better off if they did not.

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