Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

"But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed."
Isaiah 53:5

Today we walk the long journey to Calvary with Jesus. His journey is indeed our journey and our journey, his. Along our journey we may feel condemned, persecuted. We may fall, several times along the way, just as Jesus fell beneath the weight of his cross. We may also feel the crushing weight of our crosses on our shoulders and at times we may feel too weak to continue. But that may be when we are helped along the way by seeing friends, family, even strangers who may step in and help us, just as Simon helped Jesus carry his cross. We continue to walk with Jesus and we may fall again, this is getting so hard! We may feel lonely at times, and at others, we may feel the press of a crowd; others either supporting us or not. Their presence may help or hinder, but there they are. We accompany Jesus to the top of the hill and we watch as the sky turns dark and quiet. Everything quiet but the sound of the nails. Then the last cries of One who tried so hard, loved so fully and never wavered from his mission. It is finished. But not really. Love, heidi

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Humble service

"By washing his disciples' feet at that meal, (Jesus) revealed how to recognize a great lover. The greater the love, the greater the desire to be of service, even in the most humble of actions. Also, Jesus said, loving, humble service is the most powerful cure for the deadly virus of power and prestige."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Lenten Labyrinth"

Strangely, this reminded me of a show I watched a couple of times called, "Undercover Boss." It was a show where the CEO of big companies, disguised him or herself and went to work in their own companies. Usually, they did three or so starting level jobs, in various locations. They shed the suits, disguised themselves, and went to work in a metaphorical paper hat, for their own company. I didn't see it frequently, but each time I saw it, the CEO found exactly what Fr. Ed describes here. The CEOs were exposed to the "heart" of their own companies and often taken quite by surprise. There was the one guy from 7/11 who couldn't make a decent pot of coffee in one of his own stores, but found a gem of an employee who knew her customers by name and greeted them daily like a long-lost relative. This happened again and again. The CEO's eyes were opened to the beauty of service within their own businesses and they realized they were clueless to what was the real heart of the company--the humble service of the people they were barely paying a living wage. And that is something we all need to learn, Friends. Tonight, Jesus will wrap a towel around his waist, get down on his hands and knees and wash our feet. And, so importantly, ask us to do the same for each other. And our eyes will be opened to a great lover and how to be a great lover. How incredibly beautiful! Love, heidi

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Judas forgot

"One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?'"
Matthew 26:14-15

Much of what I learned of the bible was through movies when I was a kid. I was pretty sure that Moses really WAS Charlton Heston and I still shiver at the creepy black cloud that went around killing the Egyptian first born on the night of the first Passover. Likewise, I can still see the scene of whatever movie it was where Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver onto the floor, desperate to undo his betrayal of Jesus. He had a bad case of "betrayer's remorse" and went back to the chief priests and wanted to forget the whole thing. He wanted a Do-over, with him NOT being the bad guy. But, of course, the chief priests would hear none of it. They got what they wanted and the thirty pieces of silver was fine compensation for Judas. They were done with him. In his frustration, Judas threw the money down on the floor. Even as a kid, I could completely sense that frustration and desperation at wanting to undo his sin. How many times have words escaped our mouths and we wished we could gather them back in? How many times have we done things we wish we could just rewind the tape of our lives and do it right? Today is the day Judas gives in to sin and he isn't alone. Today let us walk with him into that desperate place of remorse and then let us remember Jesus and his mercy for us. That is what Judas forgot. Love, heidi

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lay down your life for me?

"Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."
John 13:38

Peter had just boasted that he would lay down his life for Jesus, but Jesus knew better. Jesus knew the road he was to travel and he knew that he would travel it mostly alone. Peter, and his childish posturing, must have struck a nerve. Looking back we can shake our heads at Peter, too, but, in reality, we do this everyday. Everyday we jockey for position and boast that we are the "Good Guys," until that going gets a little tough. Then we get going. Let's ask forgiveness for the times we didn't live up to our missions as Christians, the times we may have turned our heads from injustice. The times when the world's problems were clearly not our problems--what can we do about them anyway? We can work on our own little corners of the world, that's what. We all have a circle of influence in our lives--those we come into contact with everyday. We may not be able to end world hunger, but we can help with the hungry in our own community. We may not be able to fix the world's injustices, but we can seek justice in our own homes, work places, and community. Taking up our crosses and following Jesus means making a difference in the lives of others. Let's think about how we can make that happen. Love, heidi

Monday, April 2, 2012

Holy Week

"My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
Psalm 22

We began Holy Week, yesterday, with some of the most beautiful scriptures of all! But, the Psalm, with its hauntingly beautiful melody stands out in my mind. We all know it--we've sung it since forever--and it is so beautiful. I remember, as a child, learning that Jesus said this from the cross, but I was older before I realized it was a Psalm. Jesus would have learned these scriptures as a child, and as he was dying on the cross, he recited what he knew. "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Jesus was putting words to feelings we all have in our lives. Where is God in this situation? Where is God in this tragedy, this loss of life, this destruction and devastation? Where is God when we hurt? And the answer is what we commemorate each Holy Week. God is on the cross. God is in the midst of the earthquake. God is in the ICU unit. God is on the highway, in the midst of the horrible car accident. God is with us, every minute of everyday, no matter what is happening. And we have proof of this with Jesus, on the cross, saying exactly what we are thinking. God, where are you? And the answer, "I'm right here. With you." Love, heidi