Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Alleluia for Easter

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Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Today I feel like singing with joy. The dear one and I are full of gratitude. We are in the right place with the right people and we are feeling blessed. May you all have a wonderful 50 days of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Christ is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

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Holy Saturday

unlit candle

Today we wait.

Today the tomb is full.

Today we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Today we wait.

The candle has gone out.

We wait in vigil and hope that something will happen.

Today we wait.

Today there is darkness.

We wait in vigil and hope for light.

Today we wait.

There is mourning and tears.

We wait in vigil and  hope for healing from this pain.

Today we wait.

Good Friday

Good Friday

Good Friday – a day of sorrow, a day of grief, a day for opening up my soul to this story.

I feel like I have been living Good Friday for a long time. I know though that I haven’t been alone in this. I think that is the difference for me, I knew I had others praying for me, even when I couldn’t pray. Today I will go to church for Good Friday, for the first time in 3 years. I just couldn’t go before, I couldn’t walk in that grief and have my tears misinterpreted. This year, I will go and be part of a community that has welcomed the dear one and I. It will be a Good Friday with a difference, for this year I can see the light in the distance.

Today I will sit and remember the sorrow. Today I will give thanks for those who have walked with me through my own Good Friday. Today I will remember Jesus and his gift. Today I will pray and wait for the light.

Maundy Thursday

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It is the end of this day and I am so thankful to have gone through this day. It has been a day full of joy, tears, community, communion, worship, music, laughter, food and life. It has been a day in the life of this Christian. I have been pushed to think once again about my vocation and what is coming next for me. At the moment I don’t know what God is calling me to do but it is something. My emotions are getting stirred up and that usually happens when there is something important for me to be paying attention to.

When I started thinking about this blog posting yesterday, I had no idea what this day was going to bring. I am thankful now that I have waited until the end of this day to write about Maundy Thursday. A day of foot washing, communion, and tears for me. I am going to rest tonight knowing that God has started something new for me even if I don’t what that it is yet. I can hardly believe that I am saying that, but I am not feeling stressed about this, I am feeling grace and presence and understanding. I am going to let it unfold and see what comes next.

Tonight and probably for a while longer I am going to watch and pray.

Wednesday in Holy Week

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Today’s Gospel is hard and they will get harder until we get to Sunday. Today’s Gospel is about betrayal. The betrayal of Jesus by his friend, his disciple Judas. Betrayal is a hard topic for me and I know that it is hard for most of us. I have felt betrayed by those I trusted and I am sure those who trust me have felt betrayed by me. It involves shame, guilt and other nasty feelings. It is so not what we hope the Gospel of Jesus to be about.

I actually think this is a harder day than Good Friday. For by Good Friday we know what is coming, we know what we have to get through. Today we have to live through all those feelings. Feelings that make us uncomfortable and make us question what we believe in. I am wondering today what pushes you to the edge, what feelings are hard to go through, has your faith been tested by the betrayal of those you trusted?

For now I will hang on to what this Taize chant has to say “I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord”. May it bring you the peace you need to continue walking with Jesus through Holy Week.

Tuesday in Holy Week

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In the Gospel reading appointed for today we hear Jesus speaking to his disciples about being the light of the world and that he would only be with them for a short time. Today in Holy Week always strikes me as a real day of preparation. We are building up to the action, not quite there, but it is coming. Many of the clergy I know, including the dear one, will be up to their necks getting services, sermons and themselves ready for what is coming. Today I am thinking about how ready am I for this next stage of my journey? Am I ready to consolidate what I have learned? Am I ready to do what God is calling me to do next (even when I have no idea what that will be)? Are you ready?

Monday in Holy Week

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Today we remember the woman (in John’s Gospel named Mary of Bethany) who took expensive perfume and anointed Jesus with it in preparation for his death. I am wondering today what act of outrageous, generous, glorious love have you been touched by?

The hymn below is one that has touched me many times and lifts my faith up even when I haven’t known how to hold it up. The story of this woman’s love for Jesus does the same thing for me. Take a moment and listen and remember why we walk this week with Jesus.

Palm Sunday

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When I was 14 and a young server in our parish, our priest took a group of us to the big city to see Jesus Christ, Superstar on the big screen. It was a faith transforming moment. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and experiencing. Jesus’ story told with words and music that I understood. I was so excited and wanted to tell everyone about it. Each year during Holy Week, I take the time and listen to the music and remember.

Remembering myself as a young Christian, remembering the journey I have been on in my faith, remembering  the journey that Jesus made during this week. We start the week in glory, move to sorrow and grief, then sit and hold ourselves and wait, then  comes resurrection. We can’t get to resurrection without going through the rest. May your Palm Sunday be joyful and your Holy Week as full of emotions and remembrance as you need.

P.S. Sorry about the double posting today. I had wanted to get the earlier post out yesterday but it just didn’t happen.

Entering Holy Week

Holy week

Holy Week is coming! Holy Week is coming! Oh my goodness Holy Week is here…..

You may be wondering about my near hysteria about this – here’s the thing, I know that I will not see very much of the dear one for the next week. This is the crazy busy time for a clergy person and for a clergy person getting back into the swing of things it is even more a crazy busy time. I don’t begrudge the crazy busy time, I know in my heart how important this time is in the life of the church. If not for what happened during that week in Jerusalem with Jesus and his friends, there wouldn’t be a church now to remember and in the end to celebrate.

A story from when we were a younger family and our children were all under the age of ten. That year they had their spring break during Holy Week (schools really don’t take into account the life of the church at all when setting these things up). It was Wednesday of the week and the dear one was madly trying to finish up all the bulletins he needed to get done for the upcoming four days of services. Those of you who are clergy spouses whose partners don’t have secretaries will know what I am talking about. Our children all had some friends over and there was a planned sleep over going to happen that night. Best way to keep kids happy and busy is to have over their friends. Our youngest came into the kitchen to see me and to show me a spot on his tummy. Yep, you guessed it chicken pox. Within 2 hours all three of my children had come down with chicken pox!  Sleep over was cancelled and medicine was sought. Madness upon madness. In the middle of Holy Week. Well guess which clergy spouse did not get to any of the Holy Week services that year, you guessed it that would be me.

Holy Week this year, please God, won’t have any surprises like that. Although if someone is close to dying it will often happen close to high, holy church times as well and the dear one has been known to try to fit in a funeral during this time as well.

Our Holy Week isn’t going to be the slow, careful walk with Jesus to the cross and then to the empty tomb, no it is going to be the mad dash to make sure that others can experience a God filled experience. It is the calling of the dear one and it is my calling as a clergy spouse to be supportive of that. I am looking forward to all the services, beginning today with Palm Sunday and culminating on Easter Sunday. I am going to embrace the crazy busyness of it, revel in all the services, and remember why I keep faith with this strange beast called the church.

How are you going to experience Holy Week this year? What crazy busy time do you both dread and look forward to?

Coming out of the desert

Lent

I am feeling like my journey through the desert is nearly over, that my somewhat self-imposed exile is coming to an end. This past year has been quite the journey. I have shared with you my readers how much I have missed being part of a worshipping community. How angry I have been with the institutional church with the way the dear one was treated. How just full of grief I was about my own job for the church ending. Some of those feelings are still there but most of them are dissipating. I am finding that I can let them go and give them over to God to take over. I don’t need them anymore.

We are now three months into living here in our new community and a couple of weeks of living in our new home. I am not settled yet, not even close, just ask the dear one and he will tell you in no certain terms. But we are getting closer. I can definitely see the end of this particular part of our journey.

I have been feeling welcomed, cared for and prayed for in this new community of ours. Something that has been lacking for a long time. I still don’t know what place I am going to have in our new parish and this new diocese of ours. I am grateful that I do have a place in the life of the national church through my work with the Anglican Foundation.  I am seeing more light than darkness now. My long Lent is coming to an end and I can feel resurrection coming.

I am grateful to God for standing by, under, behind me during this hard time even when I questioned if God was around. I am grateful to my friends and family for standing by, under and behind during this hard time even when I questioned if you were around.

Just like spring in Canada comes like a surprise, so I am feeling full of surprise and joy at this new time in my life.

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