Our sense of smell can bring back memories in such powerful ways. I have what was left of my father’s aftershave when he died. I keep it in my dresser and every now and then when I come across it, I’ll open it and close my eyes and sniff – and I’m instantly brought back … More Mary of Bethany (a Lenten sermon on John 12:1-8)
John 12:1-8 Anointing His Feet 12 1-3 Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of … More Pouring out Love -Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C
During the church season of Lent, it isn’t uncommon to hear church-y folks talk about a “Lenten discipline”. Well, at least I know some pastors talk about it and in the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, the congregation will often pledge to commit to the discipline of Lent: repentance, prayer, fasting, and works of love as … More Lenten Discipline
There were a few chores I really enjoyed while growing up. Feeding the chickens and ducks was always fun, and hanging up the laundry on the clothesline was also something I never minded doing – but the one chore that my brother and I actually fought over getting to do was to carry the trash … More Ash Wednesday
We all have our stories of ashes, don’t we? Mine, I think of a home that once existed – now just a memory. Yours might be the ash and ruin you found your life in after poor choices made. They could be the ashes of dreams you had for a relationship or the ashes of the prayers you prayed that a cure would be found or the ashes of a loved one whose body finally gave up its spirit at the end of a long life. Ashes are the sign of something that once was – but no more. We sweep them up and toss them away, we bury them, scatter them, or store them away and try to forget about them.
Yet today, we are marked with them. We choose to be marked with this sign of death and endings. Why in the world would we do such a thing?
… More Ashes