Thursday, April 25, 2019
Message from Kelly
Dear Friends, today at our 11 am Eucharist, we heard the Gospel text for the Thursday in Easter Week. It’s Luke 24:36b-48, one of the accounts of Jesus being present with the disciples after the Resurrection. And it includes the absolutely wonderful phrase, “Have you anything here to eat?”
These words, surely, fell with familiarity on the disciples’ ears, reminding them of the miles they had walked with Jesus, as he taught, and healed, and blessed his way through their world, and as—time and time again—he gathered at table after table to eat with them and with so many others, “suitable” and “unsuitable” company alike. Reading Luke’s Gospel this morning, I feel the love and wisdom as Jesus made that his response to the tangle of emotions the disciples feel: While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
“While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.”
Does that mix of feelings connect at all with how you find yourself, this Easter Week? We proclaim the joy and victory over death that is Easter’s message…even as death and loss are very much with us in the world, near and far, even as we heard with horror—on Easter Sunday itself—of murderous violence in Sri Lanka.
During Easter Week, Deacon Maryan and I have been bringing Easter Communion to many of our homebound members. Such visits will continue in the coming week, with some of our lay Eucharistic Visitors joining in. At times, we’ve shared Eucharist around a dining room table…and I’m always moved by how fitting a place that is to celebrate.
The Easter Season is a long season of celebration: it is The Great 50 Days, which last all the way to Pentecost, all the way into June. In your own wonder, your own disbelief, your own joy, make the time to gather at tables (whether in coffee shops, diners, your home or a friend’s) and at the Lord’s own Table. Gather and consider the good news:
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Message from Kelly
The list of services above sets out the road map for worship that will guide us all the way to Easter morning. It starts starts today—Maundy Thursday, when Jesus gave "a new commandment," a new "mandate" to those who would follow him: "Love one another." It feels deeply fitting that our weekly 11 am Eucharist for Healing and Wholeness in Ashland becomes our observance of Maundy Thursday, as week by week our prayers of intercession there are one of the ways we show our love for one another.
Do not rush towards Easter morning. It will come, and in God's time, not ours. Each of the days between now and Sunday has its own flavor, its own purpose, and its own prayers. Worshipping with fellow Christians during these holiest days is a powerful way to fully ready ready yourself for the joy of Easter.
If you find yourself, however, unable to be at these (or other) services, consider these resources:
In addition to its daily recording of music, prayer, and scripture, https://pray-as-you-go.org has a recorded presentation of the Stations of the Cross. This meditation is particularly appropriate for Good Friday.
And Holy Saturday.... It's the day of Holy Week we're most likely to blast past, without noticing, too busy with preparations for what's next. Our prayerbook offers the antidote to that, with a simple service. It begins on page 283 of the BCP, with this prayer:
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(You can find the service online at https://www.bcponline.org, using the menu to access "Proper Liturgies for Special Days")
Many of you will be worshiping in places other than Plymouth or Holderness or Ashland in these coming Holy Days. I wish you safe travels to and from your destinations, comfort in the company you find there, and joy in the Good News of the Resurrection—of New Life—wherever you hear it proclaimed.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Message from Kelly
This Sunday, Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Passion: it is nothing if not disorienting, when we, in worship, shift from the procession of palms to taking in the Passion narrative at a gulp, like drinking from a fire hose, like binge watching a series on Netflix, the whole thing all at once.
It’s disorienting, the sudden shift from rousing praise to calls to crucify. It’s ok if this coming Sunday shakes you.
Because through Holy Week we will walk the path again, at a pace that allows us to fully sense what’s going on: to see, feel, taste, hear, smell… to return and go deeper; we will rewind and take the week at its own pace.
We are asked to keep our eyes on Jesus, on the cross, on his body, on the tomb, even when that’s very hard to do; to keep our eyes on Jesus, who lets go of anything that might seem like glory, or power, or victory – Jesus who chose service (not power) humility (not glory), humiliation (not victory)…
Holy Week invites us to keep our eyes on the cross and the tomb all the way through until Easter, when the NOTHING THERE of the empty tomb will be revealed as fullness of a love that is MORE THAN we can imagine…
Here we go.
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Message from Kelly
Dear Friends, one of the pillars of the RenewalWorks process is to “embed” the Bible in the life of the congregation.
All through Lent, a dedicated group of parishioners have been immersing themselves in the story of “The Prodigal Son” (or is it “The Lost Brother” or “The Forgiving Father”), which was our Gospel last Sunday.
Our neighbors at St Andrew’s in Hopkinton have, recently, centered their life together in the story of the encounter on the road to Emmaus. In knowing that story by heart, and having it ready on their lips, they have a model of what it means to live and act as followers of Jesus.
As our Lenten pilgrimage continues, ask yourself: Is there a particular story from scripture that, as if in a nutshell, holds The Good News for you?