April ~ 2014
Lent 5 (Apr 6th)
Ez. 37.1, 3-12, 14
1 The Divine hand…was upon me, and…set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 3 A Voice asked me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign, you alone know.”
4 Then the Voice said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of divine Life! 5 This is what the ETERNAL says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the HOLY ONE.’” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then the Voice said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, mortal, and say to it, ‘This is what the ETERNAL says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied…and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then the Voice said to me: “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what your God says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back…14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I have spoken, and I have done it.’ ”
Wisdom of the Essenes (“The Angel of Life”)
“ We thank you, Source of All, for you have placed us at a source of running streams, at a living spring in a dry land, watering an eternal garden of wonders, the Tree of Life, mystery of mysteries, growing everlasting branches for eternal planting to sink their roots into the stream of Life from an eternal source.”
John 11.32-39a, 41-44
32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the others who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34″Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see,” they replied. 35Jesus wept. 36Then the religious leaders said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39″Take away the stone,” he said.
41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Abba, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Palm Sunday (Apr 13th)
The Wisdom of Jeffrey Moses (Oneness: Great Principles Shared by all Religions)
“In today’s world, it is vital to understand that disagreements and conflicts between people or nations cannot be resolved through force. All religions are in complete agreement on this. Conquering others with force merely imprisons them. It does not remove the reasons underlying the conflict. Rather, it increases the tension and inevitably gives rise to even greater animosity.
Love, in contrast, is a unifying force. It radiates outward to resolve differences. It is not that the differences dissolve and are lost, but that they are integrated into a greater whole in which they are made more useful and beautiful. Love conquers before there is fighting. Even if channels of communication have broken down and fighting breaks out, the underlying attitude should still be one of love and unification by love.”
From the Wisdom of Kahlil Gibran
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.”
Matthew 21.1-3, 6-11 (NIV)
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the [Teacher] needs them, and he will send them right away.”
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Wisdom of Jacob Trapp
“Simply to be, and to let things be as they speak wordlessly from the mystery of what they are. Simply to say a silent yes to the hillside flowers, to the trees we walk under. To pass from one person to another a morsel of bread, an answering yes, this is the simplest, the quietest of sacraments.”
What can I bring the Divine in gratitude for all the blessings I have known? I will bring an offering of wine and praise the Infinite for never abandoning me.
John 13.1-15 (The Message)
Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the [hereafter]. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. [Confusion] by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in [its] grip, all set for the betrayal.
3-6 Jesus knew that…he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “[Teacher], you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” 8 Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.” 9 “[Teacher!]” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”
10-12 Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
12-17 Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and…and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the…Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious…If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
Easter Sunday (Apr 20th)
The Wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore
“Every morning the day is reborn among the newly blossomed flowers with the same message retold and the same assurance renewed that death eternally dies, that the waves of turmoil are on the surface, and that the sea of tranquility is fathomless.”
The Wisdom of Max A. Coots
“We need a celebration that speaks the Spring-inspired word about life and death, about us as we live and die, through all the cycling seasons, days, and years. We need the sense of deity to crack our own hard, brown, December husks and push life out of inner tombs and outer pain. Unless we move the seasons of the self, and Spring can come for us, the Winter will go on and on.”
Matthew 28.1-11 (NIV)
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel…came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like [corpses].
5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen…Come nd see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my [the others] to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Sunday, Easter 2 (Apr 27th)
Wisdom of Dame Agatha Christie
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
Psalm 16.11 (NIV)
You have made known to me the path of life [O God]; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your [generous] hand.
John 20:19-22, 30 (NRSV)
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the [religious authorities], Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the [Eternal] has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’ 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe* that Jesus is the Messiah,* the [one God has chosen], and that through believing you may have life in his name.