Monday, March 4, 2013

Third Sunday in Lent: when you sing Rock of Ages in Spanish, the chords are still the same

Cara there waiting when I arrive. Ready to do whatever is needed. Everything will eb swept clean before anyone else arrives.  Stephen is on his way down. And Glen and Tony arrive shortly thereafter with unleavened matzoh and Kedem concord for communion.  I ask Marc to borrow a guitar because I feel like playing and start to work a few songs out with Stephen. When you sing Rock of Ages in Spanish, (Roca de la eternidad) the chords are still  the same.
There is no particular mention of these incidents anywhere in secular histories. Galilee, was of course, the  home of rebels, outsiders...Yet the fact that there is no mention of tis event is not surprising because it is so typical of Pilate that it is hardly worth mentioning. Keep that in mind when we later read of  Pilate washing his hands in relation to what happens to Jesus. The operating assumption here is that that if something bad happened to you, you deserved it...Same with the other story, where the tower collapses right outside of the  Jerusalem gate...Like those New York City  crane incidents, you know? Wa someone negligent?  Are there liability issues here?

In both instances te answer seems to be,well, stuff happens...

Then what follows, sounds like finger pointing....but if you don’t repent...?  You will perish just as they did.... that seems to reverse what came before...

Let’s look at the word Repent. In Greek the word is metanoia....the exact opposite of paranoia.. It maenas to change one’s mind, shift one’s thoughts, turn away, turn around, go in a new direction...

What are we turning from? Turning to? In a study session at Union, one of my clergy colleagues tells the story of her son wth a learning disability. You can’t tell him to stop doing something without an alternative start. What do we find?
  • The issue iis not why, it is will you repent, turn around, begin again...
  • We are all going to die, sooner or later
  • Life is short, you have to take advantage of it, what are you going to do with it?
  • What will you do with what you have left?
These are all questions for us to wrestle with/

And now the arc comes around.  Finally, we have the  fig tree, manure....Like the reference to three years...not a long time for a fig tree. It can take that long..or grow a fig....but notice that it is the length of Jesus’ ministry...As with all of Jesus’ parables, we have to ask ourselves,  Who are we in this story? Owner, gardner, fig tree?  even the manure? So we began with, ah, stuff, and we finish with manure...full circle...

So we ask ourselves, what is the manure needed to nurture the tree? The manure needed in our lives? Needed in our congregation?  I love this. Nothing earthier than manure. What’s going  on here is that it is that which we need to get rid of in our lives might actually be what we need to nurture and grow int owhat we are supposed to be. Our worst traits can be transformed into gifts. It’s all in what we do with it. 

This is what Lenten reflexions are all about. 

I begin the Communion service by reading the story if the first communion  we read from Mark last Monday in Bible study.  I play guitar and Stephen the piano. As we finish the service, we gather to share what Glen has brought and others added to. Zeljko arrives and people are glad to see him. 

We meet to plan each of our parts for the Monday night meetign coming up with Presbytery. By the time I leave, there’s only an hour and a half before Zeljko’s screening.

          • * * *

The sanctuary choir is still rehearsing when we arrive. Marc has lots of set up to do. Things not quite right. Cara and i ar stepping out when a wild eyed man with gray hair and a beard and a cowboy hat approaches. Seen how before.Comes off like  a mixture of a traveling salesman and a seer which is a sign. He wants to talk about pyramids. And owls. And ducklings. And fire. Cara catches the energy and quickly slips away. He’s been sent by God to talk to me...(dude, you’re not the first...) I explain it’s not a good time. Come tomorrow. I’m afraid he just might....

We don’t have the equipment to show the trailer, so it’s on with the movie. I’ll marry the whole village...Zeljko’s docufairytale about a man who wants to take creation all the bachelors in a small town near his hoem city of Nis. it’s a small, very small crowd. Glad Hugo and Arcadia came. RL stops in.  Of course, Rachelle has ccome too...Still need  to do better before  next Friday’s screening...

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