Each Monday we publish Sunday's Coming, an email-only post on the upcoming readings, written by our current Living by the Word columnist.
Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Matthew 21:1-11
Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54
Resident Aliens at 25
Resident Aliens effectively makes a virtue of a necessity. It seems to choose disestablishment, which in fact has come down upon us like a judgment.
Consider its extravagant fertility! Howdependably it breeds itself in the marrowto fill again what drains away, the rivers of brightplatelets singing in their arterial darkuntil a simple incursion, some sharp sever.A jag. An abrupt disclosure as our secret fluidspills against its will—whether a startle or a slowseepage, a prompt to remember our fragility.When a bold splash on a lintel in Egypt signaledsafety, a lifeguard against the death angel, we didn’thave to die; it was only a lamb, and a quick throat cutthat flooded us into another life.“His blood be upon us” echoes in that old yell ofrejection. We can yield instead to bewashed in grace, the scandal of mercyacting as God’s unlikely laundry.Today the cup calls us to the altar rail, transfuses usas we drink deep, a stain that blots old grimesand dyes us with itself.
Living with regret
It’s been seven years, and I cannot access the word of peace. The tears still sting and slosh over my pail of remorse.
As a child I was afraid of the cross. Crosses with Jesus’ bloody body terrified me, but even the empty ones I saw in my father’s Lutheran church gave me shivers.
My father was a liberal Protestant, but my grandfather, who was also a minister, held a more traditional view of atonement theology.
Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught about Salvation and the Cross
For Sharon Baker, theological consistency is essential, because “our perception of God influences how we behave.”
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
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