Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Monday, April 17, 2006


I'd like to introduce you to my folks--Jim and Sue. They may look happy in this picture don't they? Well, I can assure you that they will be pretty miffed that I have put their picture up on the internet (especially mom).

These two lovebirds have been married for a whopping 35 years now! Pretty fantastic. I'm tempted to say that "they are the best parents in the whole world," but I'm afraid of all the Napoleanic responses..."like anyone can know that."

Even if they aren't the BEST, they rank really, really high. I'm thankful to have them as parents...I'm thankful for their 35 years of marriage...I'm thankful in advance for many more...and I'm thankful that Christine and I have something to aspire towards. We are not even quite to 9. BUT--mom and dad--we'll just keep following your lead.

We love you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It Will Be Over Before You Realize It

This is true about almost every single "special" day we celebrate--it sneaks up on us and it is over before we realize it. This is why walking this Lenten journey has been so helpful. However, today is Wednesday and my week is feeling busy. It's usually sometime around Wed. or Thur. that we begin planning our events, chores, etc. for the weekend. Today, we need to ask ourselves whether or not we will PLAN IN some time and space for the events to be celebrated b/w Thur. and Sunday.

I would suggest planning something that you don't TYPICALLY celebrate or participate in during Holy Week. Throw your spirituality a curve ball. For us, it is going to be getting together with our house church to celebrate a seder meal. We will re-live parts of the Passover Meal, which was a foretaste of the Last Supper, which Jesus institutes on the night before he was brutally killed.

You could try a:
Maundy Thursday service (typically observed in the Episcopal, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches).

Good Friday service (often held at noon and in the evening).

Easter Vigil / Holy Saturday service (again, your high churches are more likely to celebrate one of these)

Tenebrae Service (this is an interesting service using light throughout, typically celebrated on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday).

There are lots of options...and lots of competing interests for your time this weekend. But, YOU control your time and space (at least to some degree). Will you set aside some time and space to finish this walk with Jesus towards the cross?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dead Man Riding

The pace of Lent is quickening. We are approaching the rise in conflict in the story. We are also drawing closer and closer to the climax and resolution. It's a story many of us know...and are therefore not surprised by. But entering into the final week of Lent with a renewed commitment to join the journey of those first pilgrims, maybe we can reflect on all the twists and turns they experienced...the hope...crushed and renewed.

Palm Sunday is this Sunday and is the start of HOLY WEEK. It's the Sunday that we celebrate (if that is the right word) the triumphal entry of Jesus on his last trip to Jerusalem. We call it triumphal now, but only because we know the end of the story. It's the week when Jesus says, "it's go time." He has predicted his death a couple of times at this point. The conflict is coming to a head...and he is going to ride (walk) right into it. On Palm Sunday, Jesus is a dead man riding. There's no turning back now. For us--on this lenten journey (with our fast)--there is no turning back now. We, in order to finish this pilgrimage, dive headlong into Holy Week, where we will partake in a week of paradoxial climax and resolution. Here are our ancient days of celebrating:

Palm Sunday--Along with Jesus and his early followers, we begin "walking in the way of the Cross." Are you ready for the jeering and the persecution of Jesus and those that would identify with him? Are you ready to walk the via de la rosa? Can you carry the cross? Are you ready for death?

Maundy Thurday--this service celebrates the "night that Jesus was betrayed." Again, it is both great and terrible at the same time. It is very dark--for he will be betrayed and tried and the next day crucified. But it is also the night that Jesus has a final meal with his friends and institutes this supper for all of his followers. He promises them ultimate victory in the New Covenant. There is hope amidst all the fear and pain.

Good Friday--we remember the day of the cross and the brutal crucifixion of Jesus. How can that be good? It is certainly NOT pleasant, but it is good in the cosmic sense of Jesus conquering the very evil that was set against him. We know now...the plot has many twists and turns.

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil--The ancient Christians would have held a vigil the on Saturday night, which would culminate in the taking of the resurrection eucharist. It's a bit like having a midnight service on Christmas Eve or ringing in the New Year. At the very moment of Easter Sunday, you ring in the day of the year that celebrates Christ's victory over death through the resurrection...all that means for him...and all it means for us. It is the day that reminds us that our journey will some day come to a similar end. We can rest in the hope of the resurrection. It will not be without pain and death and suffering, but it will be wicked sweet indeed!

We've come to the BIG week. Enter into it with a renewed PASSION. Don't, like the disciples, fall asleep now...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Blogging--A New Spiritual Discipline?

I joined the blogging world about six months ago or so...thanks to (we'll call him) Curt. Every time I saw Curt he was saying things like, "I was on Scot's blog this morning and came across..." Every day he was on this blog. He never said, "I was reading the paper this morning and ..." It was always this JesusCreed blog. And it wasn't just INFO. Curt was learning new things about walking in the way of Jesus and this blog was shaping how and what he believed and how he lived it out. It was ODD, but I figured I'd check it out. There began my daily addiction to Scot's blog and my introduction into the blogging world.

Then, about 2 months ago I knew I was going to have some xtra time on my hands, so I thought I'd get out of the "viewing" mode of the blogging world and step into the "writing" mode. I'll tell you this--it's a lot easier to read!

Here's what I've been struck with by this new phenomenon--blogging is very much a spiritual discipline...or at least it can be for some...and it has been for me. And it's good for me, because it forces me to think more critically (both when I read other blogs and when I create for this one). It creates a space and an atmosphere for me to put some thoughts, musings, and prayers to words. In a busy world where I tend to rush from one thing to the next, it FORCES me to slow down a bit and to interact with God.

But, there's more. It's closest relative is probably "journaling." I think they both offer many of the same benefits, but blogging offers something that journaling typically does not--the engagement and influence of community. When I journal, it is pretty much just between God and I (unless it just happens to be lying open and Christine stumbles upon it). I think there is something good in that uniqueness. However, with blogging, 'others' read and respond. They challenge me and push me and encourage me. They are 'with' me in this way. And, possibly, they are also encouraged and pushed by the things God is doing in my own life.

I expect to see someone publishing a NEW take on the spiritual disciplines and to incorporate blogging into the scheme. Maybe it is just a new phenomenon that will come and go. That's fine. While it's here, though, I'll be engaging in this new discipline. Will you?

Much of this post flows out of a conversation with my good buddy Micah...who is also a blogging can find his blog listed to the right under Friends.