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Showing posts from March, 2010

We Have an Enemy

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week, the week set aside each year to reflect on the passion of Jesus.

The "passion" of Jesus refers to the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection: the Last Supper, his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest and trial, and the crucifixion itself.

The Presbyterian preacher William G. Carter has written,


"There has always been something about Jesus that people have resisted from the very beginning. He has done nothing wrong. He has not led people down the wrong path. He has not rejected the Scriptures. He has not trained terrorists to resist the empire. He has not spoken against God. Yet there is something about him that people resist and wish to eliminate. ... From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus faced opposition to his words and deeds, not because he did something wrong, but because he came in the power of God's Spirit."

A fascinating concept, and one that polite Episcopalians don…

No Time to Rest?

In a quick check of email this morning, I saw that several people had forwarded today’s “Lent Day by Day” reflection to me, mentioning how appropriate it was as we enter what promises to be a gorgeous weekend.

If you didn’t receive it, or even if you did and didn’t reflect on it, here it is again:

“The Sabbath is a day of rest. What does it mean to rest? Tilopa, a 9th-century Buddhist master, wrote:

‘Do not remember the past;
Do not predict the future;
Do not think about the present;
Do not analyze;
Do not control;
Rest.’

Powerful limits.But what do we rest from? What is work? Most of us work with our minds, so do we shut off our minds with the glowing screen of the TV? Is that “rest” -- turning everything off?

We should not forget active rest. Play. Exploration of questions and interests that are simply fun. When you were a child, what was more relaxing than play?

What if we rested from the media that surrounds us? Imagine a day with no TV, no newspapers, no magazines. Imagine shutting off the …

The Only Person We Can Change

Somewhere along the line, I picked up an image of humanity that -- to the degree I can remember and apply its truth -- is tremendously liberating. I share it with you as a pretty good way to enrich your Lent.

The image is that of everyone being locked up in their own individual cage.

Imagine, for a second, every single human being locked up in their own personal cage… a prisoner… captive somehow, to their own limiting beliefs, or deeply ingrained habits, or regrets, or fears.

If it’s difficult to picture all of humanity that way, just picture someone close to you… your spouse, child, or parent, or a close friend or colleague. With just a little bit of thought, you can probably see their cage… some way they are imprisoned, captive to a limiting belief, habit, regret, or fear.

Now here’s the second part of that image: every single human being, standing in those cages, also holds in his or her hand a key.

The key fits one lock, and one lock only.

Most of us assume our key can unlock other peop…