The Corridor: March 2008

The Corridor

We are a church community committed to having an incarnational presence in the Washington/Baltimore Corridor.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He has Risen!

Do not look for Jesus among the dead, he is no longer here.
He has Risen!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

This Cup

So Good Friday got me to thinkin'. We had a Tenebrae service in our home tonight with some dear friends who are also members of our church community. For me it was a siginificant night. I had been "prepping" for the story with my focus on God's character shown through Jesus' life. This time the reading of the Garden of Gethsemane events did not just roll over my mind and heart as a story "I've heard" at least 35 times. I think I finally HEARD it.

As I listened and read and studied further afterward I was hung up on Jesus request that His Father-God "take this cup" from him. I keenly felt that Jesus request was for himself in that moment but also perhaps for us. Is this the ONLY way...can you take this cup? Do we have to walk here? I find so much comfort in Jesus' request. I feel understood, known and walked with.
These days my "cups" don't feel too heavy if I look at the world around me. But I do feel exhausted and desparate at times trying to navigate all that is in front of me...some of it feels painful. I pray and ask that my baby sister's "cup" be taken from her. Over and over that request is made. I believe many who know and love her have prayed along these lines. I have prayed and asked that my husband's particular "cup" at various times in life be taken from him as well.

In all this petitioning, the "cup" hasn't been taken (at least not yet) but God has been so good to allow me, or whoever I am petitioning for, to recieve the cup with trust and sometimes even with grace.

I am thankful for Jesus' words in Gethsemane. Part of the pain with any "cup" is the lonely, isolated feeling it can bring. Jesus abolished this when he walked that lonely path and took that cup and brought new life to the world. The promise and comfort in these moments of Jesus' life give me renewed desire to continue to walk, regardless of the weight of the cup.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday, which according to the liturgical calendar falls on the Thursday before Easter and commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

At the Corridor we celebrate the Eucharist (communion) every week, but today we pay special attention to it in the specific context of the events that lead up to the death and then the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why Karrie and I have invited our church community over to our home this evening to share in the communion meal together.

All year we have been talking about the incarnation of Jesus Christ, how God has met us in our humanity and is truly "with us" in Jesus Christ. Communion itself reminds us of this, as Jesus points to the bread and wine as his human body and blood. Through communion, Jesus asks us to partake in his humanity, as God in Christ partakes in our humanity. The incarnational God in Christ Jesus meets us even in human suffering and death. The bread is broken and the wine is spilled out.

As we enter into to the story of the final days of Jesus' incarnational life (though we will be reminded on Easter that his life goes on) we will be reminded that Jesus shared some of the darkest of human experiences leading up to and including his death on the cross.

Looking at this painting by the Russian painter Simon Ushakov of the mid to late 1600's you may notice that one of the twelve is not given that majestic hallo as the rest. This represents the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Although, to be fair all the disciples would "fall away" and Jesus would experience of the betrayal and abandonment of his loved ones. Even this is incarnational as God enters the world as a human Jesus and experiences the sins of humanity that that is common to us all, as we turn on each other and both betray and abandon one another (and God) in our humanity.

In the course of the next hours and days of the these events Jesus will also meet us where such abandonment and betrayal turns into outright injustice. An innocent man, Jesus, is tortured and put to death by the corruptness of the religious, those in political power, and even by the outcry of the masses that embraced him just a few days ago as a king. Truly Jesus is God with us even in the sins of all of humanity and he meets us in death that is common to us all.

Jesus said, "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." And so tonight we will remember as we come to the table and we wait for Jesus to come; embracing the hope of his resurrection that we will soon celebrate. Jesus truly is new life for humanity.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Can these bones dance?

We read in Ezekiel 37 today about the vision of dry bones which from our modern context can conjure up spooky images of the "undead" that come out and play at night. What is interesting though is that in images, like the one from this cartoon, the skeletons that come to "life" and dance around are not alive at all; they never actually become un-dead because they stay dead. It is also interesting to notice in the cartoon that the skeletons run for their graves at day break.

As entertaining as it is to watch these Disney skeletons dance, I can't help but to notice the contrast between the reanimation (per Disney animation) of the bones in the cartoon with the dry bones that God breaths life back into in Ezekiel's vision. Actual life returns to Ezekiel's bones as God promises to breathe his life back into the his people in this vision. This is the kind of life that embraces the light of the sunrise and does not run away from it and return to the grave. This is the kind of life that truly reflects God because it is God's breath that calls it to life and sustains it. This is the kind of life that will truly inspire us to dance for joy.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

so that the work of God might be displayed in her life

Something captured me in this story of a deaf girl who wanted to experience music and play in a band. She certainly learned to “hear” music in her own way to overcome her deafness, but it wasn’t until she embraced her own deafness that she would be able to “hear” well enough to play in a band.

God in Christ embraces us in all our humanity, in our frailties, in our blindness and deafness and in all the ways we might consider “cursed”. It is in our humanity, through the divine that became human in Christ, that God’s work might be displayed in our lives. I think the message is clear; we need to embrace our own humanity and every thing that goes with it including what we might consider “cursed” as God embraces us. It is only then that something truly divine might be done in our lives and we who are blind and deaf will truly begin to see and hear.

Why was the girl in the video born deaf? Well my guess is so that the work of God might be displayed in her life. Why were you and I created the way we are? For the very same reason, so let us embrace our human condition as Christ has embraced us.

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