A week ago I led a memorial service, a celebration of life, for a two-day old. It was excruciating, as you might imagine. It was also stunning and beautiful, as you might not imagine. Pain was real and evident, but more present was the love that surrounded these two parents and these three grandparents.
That service came on the tail of four other deaths in our congregation, all women in their nineties.
If anyone can wax poetic about the power of a clean slate, it's Paul. In his mystical meanderings on the human body's relationship to the body of Christ, he doesn't ground his hope in the things that humans do (or don't do) in response to tradition, social pressure, or threats. He grounds it in the inclusive finality of Jesus Christ himself.
Pharaoh trembled at the growing Hebrew population; at the thought that these slaves might realize their oppression and realize their power. He demanded that the Egyptians throw all of the Hebrew baby boys into the Nile River.
Herod trembled at the report from the eastern scholars of a child who had been born King of the Jews; at the prospect of Jewish rebellion and an end to his tenuous hold on power.
Writing used to be easy. Now, nothing seems easy. Leaning in, I just stare at the screen. Occasionally, I try to type something. Despite my desperation to write, my mind is held captive to a former place.