Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 (Psalm 51:1-17); 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Our teacher cautions us that the corpse pose is the most difficult of all yoga postures to master, but after an hour’s exertion in warrior pose, downward-facing dog and cobra, the prospect of relaxing horizontally on one’s yoga mat brings both relief and the impertinent question, “How hard can it be?” Fascinated, I report to my husband, “Every day at the conclusion of yoga class we practice dying.” “That’s interesting,” he says, trying to share my enthusiasm. “It’s kind of like Lent,” I venture. "Lent is when we’re supposed to practice dying, right?”
When I was a child, I loved Palm Sunday because we got to act out the biblical version of a ticker-tape parade. Later I learned of the ephemeral quality of stardom and parades and decided that Palm Sunday and Passion Week belong together. As a pastor, I have accepted the dismal fact that most of our people skip Thursday, Friday and Saturday, slipping from parade pandemonium to Easter ecstasy with none of the suffering and pain.
Look, people are sinking under the waters. Here in this wilderness, people are perishing.
In the synoptic accounts of the cleansing of the temple, Jesus is being provocative. In John, he is provoked.
For the people in Noah’s day, there was no scientific warning of a natural disaster, just a crazy man building an ark.
Jesus and Peter care about each other enough to call each other out.
At one end of Matthew, Jesus goes free. At the other, cruel, ritualized slaughter befalls him.