At the least-visited museum in Rome, a marble cross caught my attention. It depicts the Madonna and Child and the warm tangle of their intimacy.
May we not domesticate the Jesus story for our own religious comfort, but in telling the story, and doing so truthfully, may we worship our crucified Christ and encounter his delivering presence, and therefore be transformed after the image of God.
At our first outdoor procession, I felt awkward. I’d led liturgies before, but my church life and my real life didn’t usually intersect so publicly.
On Easter Sunday, Jake Tapper interviewed Rick Warren on ABC’s This Week, asking the influential pastor a series of questions on faith and politics. Of particular interest were his comments on soldiers and war (which did not make it into the aired segment but are available here). At the end of the interview, Warren exclaimed, “God hates war, but loves every soldier.” As a combat veteran, I was impressed by and grateful for Warren’s statement. The Bible makes clear that war is at best a necessary evil--the idea at the core of the just war tradition. And yes: God loves each and every soldier. But I want to look more closely at the latter thought, especially in light of the suicide epidemic that currently afflicts our nation’s veterans and soldiers.
When I was a child, it was the mysterious shadows that attracted me to Holy Week. Now it’s something different.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (Psalm 22); Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42
How do you say goodbye? It depends, I suppose, on the relationship—what it has grown to and what it will become. For Jesus, preparing to leave the close society of his disciples seems to have been a long process. Almost from the beginning he gently, or sometimes in exasperation, explained that the course his life was following would lead to profound changes in their lives. So he began saying goodbye early.