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Sabbath Day – Maundy Thursday

April 6, 2012

Today’s sabbath rest will be taken on Easter Monday.

I spent my day working on my Good Friday sermon and my Easter sermon, and playing with my son in between (he is on Spring Break). The Good Friday sermon is based on the text ” I thirst” and was inspired by my favorite poet, Denise Levertov, and one of my favorite late medieval theologians, Julian of Norwich.

Readers of this blog will recognize the influence of Julian, and will know of my daily encounters with poets. Earlier this week Diana Butler Bass posed on facebook Levertov’s poem on Julian, and the sermon came together. I was also challenged by my Lenten reading list, which brought together this week books by my colleague Mark Douglas (Confessing Christ in the 21st Century) and Emmanuel Levinas; these readings challenged me to say something about facing suffering in another and not looking away. Thanks Diana. Thanks Mark.

On Sunday I am preaching a sermon I am calling “Courageous Woman – Courageous Church”. It is about Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles, and the community of equals into which we are called. Janet McKenzie’s painting “Mary Magdalene – Invitation to Love” is, with the artist’s permission, our bulletin cover.

This evening we had a deeply moving Maundy Thursday service at the church. The part that meant the most to me was sharing the table liturgy with two fourth grade girls. I felt such joy and ‘rightness’ having them stand at the table with me. I had arranged for one of them to be there, but a second showed up because she just wanted to be a part of the liturgy.

Thank you Rev. Howland for taking this photo.

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