Thinking of what it must have been like for the disciples this resurrection morning: locked away, hiding, afraid. Then the impossible happens. Jesus appears among you. And he comes offering the thing you need more than anything else: PEACE!
"Welcome Friday, I love this day.
The day our Lord was crucified.
A day for quiet reflection,
A day of earnest prayer,
A day to remember one’s sins,
A day to beg forgiveness,
A day to abstain from good food,
A day to shun fine wine,
A day to turn towards goodness,
A day to plan acts of charity,
A day to give thanks for all God’s blessings."
A powerful article that reminds us of the truth from Matthew that what we do for the least of these we do for Jesus. Good words to ponder this Holy Week:
The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.
"One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by," says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. "She thought it was an actual homeless person."
May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
“I believe Not I know. Not I think. Not I feel. Not I understand. But I believe. When I am in darkness, when I do not know the way, when every step is uncertain, I walk. I live not by what I know or feel but by a trust that proves itself only after each new step is safely taken…”
"See, once you have begun to experience solitude and silence, you discover that you actually have a soul and that there is a God.Then you can begin to practice Sabbath and that will enable you to re-enter community.You can’t have community without Sabbath."
"And this, in fact, is precisely why fasting and the other disciplines matter. Not because we are not our bodies, but because we are, at least in part. And therefore, what we do with our bodies matters. We cannot draw a clear line between the bodily and the spiritual; the truth of the Incarnation and the Eucharist and so much of our liturgical life prohibits us from doing so. We are not saved by escaping from bodily life, but by putting on and consuming and becoming the Body of Christ, whom we cannot even know unless we are willing to follow his commandments. So the body is of immense importance, and asceticism rightly conceived is not a rejection of the body, but what comes from taking it seriously."
(From a short essay on asceticism I’m working on for my church)
A good approach to fasting that speaks an important corrective to the main problems I have had with asceticism in the past.