March 31, 2013

In the text for Sunday, the risen Jesus appears to Mary, and at first, she didn't recognize him.  She thought he was the gardener.  Then, she recognized him.  Why?  With someone she had known so well, with someone who meant so much to her, why didn't she recognize him.  This pattern occurs with the two men on the road to Emmaus.  Jesus appeared to them, walked all the way home with them, joined them around the table, and only then did these two men, who obviously had known Jesus, recognize him?  This Sunday, we will consider our moments of blindness and our moments of recognition.

March 24, 2013

This Sunday, we will review the whole Passion drama, from the time Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, to throwing the money changers out of the temple, through the Last Supper, to his garden prayer, betrayal, arrest, trail, crucifixion and resurrection.  The scriptures will be (1) Philippians 2:5-11, which is a hymn of the early church asking us to have the Mind of Christ within us (Christos nous), and (2) Luke 23:32-49, an event that has a most unusual mystical symbol, namely, the tearing in two of the curtain in the temple.  This curtain separated the outer court from the Holy of Holies.  With any Passion, through suffering, crucifixion tears the curtain and dissolves any separation between God and people, a separation that seems deeply ingrained in popular thinking.

March 17, 2013

The New Testament lesson draws from the time Jesus went up to Bethany and visited in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Mary took some costly oil and anointed Jesus' feet, which upset Judas, who felt the oil could have been sold and used for the poor.  Jesus said that we always have the poor with us, and lifted up the dignity, the honor, the reverence that was bestowed.  The sermon title for Sunday is "Reverences as Honoring the Hallowed."