Today marks the beginning of what the Christian Church for centuries has called Holy Week – the last week of Jesus life – beginning with the entry into Jerusalem on Sunday, this week is an opportunity to reflect on power, privilege, death and the strength and resilience of community.
These days I find myself less and less concerned with the ancient creedal statements of the Church and more and more concerned with the lived experience of my fellow human beings in our efforts to make the world a more friendly and healthy place. Less and less and I able to say “He is risen…” but ever more often I see resurrection in the communities I am a part of.
Karoline Lewis, Associate Professor of Preaching and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota says,
Mary’s sermon is a homiletical gem — and maybe the truest sermon ever preached. She doesn’t say, “Christ is risen, he is risen indeed,” but “I have seen the Lord.” Resurrection is not a third person confession but a first person testimony – and this is all you need to preach. People don’t want to hear that the resurrection is a creed of the church — they need to hear that the resurrection is a truth they might witness and to which they might give witness on a daily basis. Karoline Lewis
I “have seen the Lord” in the work of the Sackville Refugee Response Coalition as they prepare to welcome yet another newcomer to Sackville… and, I see resurrection in Rose the newcomer from Uganda who will soon be among us – who recently shared this picture of herself with us!
I “have seen the Lord” in the work of the many folk at the Drew Nursing Home, who in the midst of continuing challenging circumstances continue to provide care for the many residents… and I see resurrection in the senior folk who while in hospital, trust others to dispose of all empty out their apartments as they wait for a room at the Drew.
In my sermon on Palm Sunday (link here) I began to scratch the surface of what is for me a hopeful avenue of exploration: ecological theology as pioneered by folk such as Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow (link). The Big History Project is also a very helpful resource in this work (link).
Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow will be in the Maritimes this spring and will be speaking at the Regional Gathering at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Centre as follows: May 23rd @ 7:30PM, May 24th @ 9:00AM & 6:30PM and again at the Atlantic Seminar in Theological Education in Truro June 9th to 14th (link).
The Week Ahead:
I am in the office this morning, after which I’ll join with members of the SRRC to move some furniture. Later this afternoon I’ll be doing some reading and preparation for Sunday. Tuesday will find me at the hospital and at the Drew followed by an afternoon meeting. On Wednesday I’ll be in the office in the afternoon followed by an evening meeting – and Thursday will be similar – only the evening will be our Maundy Thursday Service and Pot Luck Supper. Do come out and share a meal and the experience of sacrificial service. 6PM – all are welcome. Friday morning I’ll be leading in the Good Friday Service at Upper Sackville United Church at 10AM and of course we’ll gather on Sunday at 9AM at Upper Sackville United Church and 11AM at Sackville United Church to ponder the new life of resurrection.