Lent – Day 22

Mid-week in our first week of taking action, where we’re taking it slowly, sometimes still observing our old behavior while we evaluate what we should be doing instead; and sometimes taking action. It’s funny how when you think about it you can easily choose the right response, but when the heart becomes engaged, another part of you takes over. Don’t fret. It takes longer for the heart to follow and get with the program.

I had a dream last night, and in it an old friend was asking about whether a task could be automated, and said they understood if I wouldn’t or couldn’t do it, since I didn’t attend their church anymore. I said I could do it–it had nothing to do with attending their church; and I mentioned that the church was like any other club, it had monthly dues, too. She said, ‘Yeah, but these dues are much higher!’

I think however you express your faith, that is up to you, and as you move this Lent toward a new behavior, you’ll see others respond to you differently. I hope each day is a new day for you, full of promise and fulfillment.

J

New Lenten Journal Coming

Just a quick note, as I have much writing to do. I’ve decided, or been led, to create a new Lenten journal. For those who have picked up earlier ones, this one will be a bit different. First, I will offer it on Amazon as an ebook, with possibly a color photo paperback book. (It appears a bit cheaper than another site I was looking at.) Second, this one is designed to be a daily journal, with reflections written for each day. It’s been a while since I looked at the earlier ones, but I don’t recall writing a daily one. And it is focused on something new – so there will be additional thoughts as to how you might approach Lent.

Are you tired of the same old routine: Giving up, doing more? This journal, tentatively titled Irrational Joy, will look at the time from a different perspective. I hope you find it worthwhile.

On Amazon the ebook will be in the Kindle Select Program, and I anticipate giving free downloads the week that Lent begins. (M-F)

Thanks for your support and encouragement.

John

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, a mixed blessing, of celebrating Jesus’ entrance and exit.

The Passion, not a bloody, fixated on violence event – the violence is the least of it.

It goes back to that word we’re removing from our vocab – the H word.

It’s what happens when things are valued more than people. When the taking of life is considered acceptable, because someone doesn’t look like you, doesn’t believe what you believe, doesn’t act like you.

Or exposes you for who you really are. What you really want and desire and find important.

That can be just as devastating.

Are you filled so strongly with anger and resentment, that it’s easy to say ‘Crucify him,’ or, ‘Pretend it’s Obama’?

Civility conveys respect.

Today’s reflection is here.

Lent – Sunday week 5

This Sunday’s gospel reflection is here.

Continuing the thought about Dyer’s ideas about ego and universal mind, today’s gospel talks about losing your life to save it. And Dyer talked about wish fulfillment, and I could imagine many people thinking, ‘If only all my wishes came true!’ They would have missed the point – that the fulfillment is for things that are not for your ego.

When you read about someone (or know them personally), who seems to have everything, it usually turns out that they are missing something deeply. They turn to other stimulants to replace what they have not been able to buy.

There are several charities that promise to fulfill someone’s wish. And some of those wishes are worthwhile; the others I will not judge. I am not in their shoes and have not shared their experience. And I know what it’s like to get your wish.

When God touches you, joy and gratitude, and laughter – yes, laughter, explode from within you. That’s the power of God.

I hope this Lent has not been one of sorrow, but rather, of joy and laughter. Of ‘linking arms’ with God, and realizing that the journey we take, every step we are accompanied by the sacred one.

Lent – Sunday week 4

Sacrifice. It’s a theme we will visit regularly in the coming weeks as we approach the annual passion reading. I include it in today’s reflection here.

It’s easy to feel loved when someone says they gave everything for you, including themselves, or their child. How great is that? Would you be willing to give up your life for a best friend? An acquaintance? A stranger?

What if, as Crossan and Borg and others contend, this idea is incorrect? When we read the rest of the passage, it states that God sent Jesus so that we might have life. Not to condemn the world, but to save it.

Jesus lived as we should strive to live. Unfortunately, that means sacrifice.

Parents sacrifice for their children. Spouses sacrifice for each other. These take on many facets, but I believe they do one thing – they make us better as humans, stepping outside ourselves for the sake of others.

What if Jesus came into the world to save it, by showing everyone how they should act? Follow my lead, and we can change the world, he might have been saying. The ultimate example.  Seems so few follow it.