Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's Not Your Average Week

The church is busy this week. Around the globe, this is known as Holy Week. The background of this is found in the story of Jesus. He gets arrested, tried by a bunch of jealous and scared guys and gets sent to the cross to die. The story does not shed a very warm, fuzzy picture of Jesus' fellow human beings. Nor even his followers come to that. There's misplaced greed, betrayal of supposedly staunch supporters, power hungry politicians and blood. Technically speaking this is not a week to celebrate. It is a week to share, though. It is a week to be taken seriously. Before the joyous outpourings of Sunday, you have to get through the serious, somber and grisly details of the rest of the week.

I know some people are uncomfortable during the services of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. They like the happier atmosphere of the Easter Sundays. But I'm a firm believer that you can't really experience the joy without experiencing the sadnesses, too.  I would like to invite you to join us at St. Marks this week. Come and share the sorrow, silence and symbolism of these experiences. I promise you that Sunday will seem more meaningful and uplifting after you have.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Love Out Loud

Just recently I was given the opportunity of loving someone out loud. By this I mean, I showed this person just how much they mean to me. My eldest brother came for a visit. He lives in Florida and he doesn't get much time off from work. So a splurge of coming up to see his siblings and mother was a great treat. How did I show him how much he means to me? Well, I fed him dinner, a real home-cooked meal when he came to my place from the airport on the way to our mother's house. We had a party the following night with lots of generations. Lots of laughter, memory sharing, and some of his favorite food from one of the bakeries near the old homestead. And then I didn't see him again. He went to stay with our other brother until it was time for him to leave. In a way, this was really hard. I really wanted to see him again. Talk about things, share stories, just he and I. But there were only so many hours in a day and well, it didn't work out that way. But I loved him just the same, without seeing him again. He is still in my heart even as he returns to Florida.

Can we love God out loud? Can we come to His table and be filled with good things, sharing with our brothers and sisters at the table? And can we be satisfied with not exactly seeing Him, but feeling His presence? Sometimes it seems hard to show our love for the Almighty. He seems so abstract. We're used to concrete things to love; our home, our car, our money. But the love I feel for my brother reminds me that the kind of love exists for my God, too. If only we would show it. Out loud.