Words for the Week – April 18, 2019

Dear church,

So much that once seemed steady and solid is being exposed as fragile and impermanent (Notre Dame, our democracy, a body’s health, the planet).  Perhaps we are all more vulnerable than we ever like to admit. I’m certain I’m not alone in chafing against vulnerability and its sister, perishability. I don’t like it. I am afraid of it. In the words of the musical Fame, “I want to live forever.”

God’s vulnerability is on display this weekend, as Jesus opens his heart to his friends, teaches the way of love, undergoes an unfair trail, and is killed.

Vulnerability does not equal goodness.  There’s a lot of pain and heartache involved in being vulnerable; demonic forces often result in unholy vulnerability.

Still, there is some connection between vulnerability and love. I don’t think you can love without being vulnerable.  In Jesus, God is vulnerable. In Jesus, God loves.

These next three days, our congregation will gather multiple times.  The service tonight is intimate and hushed, with foot/hand washing, communion, gentle singing and forgiveness of sin.  Tomorrow night – Good Friday – our service features the chilling readings depicting Jesus’ last hours, interspersed with the prayers and songs of a grateful, remorseful, sorrowful people. 

And Sunday morning we will gather with the ultimate surprise. Our vulnerability is not the enemy; it is a pathway to God’s presence.  God’s joy and blessing endure even when all seems lost.

Hope lives. Love lives. Jesus lives. You live…forever.

See you in church,

Be at Peace,

Pastor Sarah