Sunday, March 20, 2016

Random on Palm Sunday

1. First, this:


The copy on the WeRaise page over at Wheat Ridge Ministries says:

As Christ walks among us, Harmony Community Church walks alongside its neighbors in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. 

Harmony's Pastor, James Brooks, walked alongside my two sons during some tough times when he was the Director of Youth Ministry at our suburban church. He walked alongside them as an image of Christ in their lives, listened, shared his own faith experiences and played a lot of basketball. He does this now for kids and adults who are up against some very tough problems (murder, violence, addictions) and some very basic ones (jobs, hunger). His church is a place of fellowship, coherence and hope, and they need a new roof. Help them, if you can.

2. I've spent so much time reading about politics lately. The primary season came to Illinois last week and has now left for other states. Stunned Republicans are late getting on the #NeverTrump bandwagon. I think that protesters who confront Trump supporters unkindly are playing into their persecuted white victimhood narrative. What on earth can we do? Satire? Is that a good weapon?

3. I'm not doing the drama of Holy Week this year. No, thank you, to waving the palm branch in church this morning. I'm not painting pictures in my head of this morning's procession or of the one later in the week that took Jesus out of the city, carrying his cross, to Golgotha. Not trying to picture myself in the "Crucify him!" crowd, not trying to imagine myself as Peter or even Mary at the foot of the cross. Why not?

4. Because I'm just trying to find myself in all this, myself in relation to Jesus, who is human and divine, who reminds me that my human life matters to God and is part of God's kingdom.

5. Which is how, of course, I can walk, as Christ, with others. God's image in me, God's image recreated in me because of Jesus' suffering and death here on earth. God's image resurrected in creation, in Christ, in me, in all things, in those whom I love.

6. Which brings me to World Down Syndrome Day, tomorrow, March 21. I've wondered many times about how my daughter with DS sees herself but couldn't imagine myself into her head. This video from CoorDown, an Italian advocacy organization, brought me up short. Of course! She sees herself as a beautiful, hopeful young woman with a beautiful, hopeful life. Why did it take me so long to get this?

7. We sang a Bach cantata at Grace this afternoon--Himmelskönig, sei willkommen
(King of heaven, welcome, BWV 182). The final movement--a little gigue--so let us follow the Savior through "Lieben and Leiden," love and sorrow. Follow? Or try to walk alongside, because really, who's leading?

Happy Holy Week.