March is that month when I think that I am going to make it through the winter without getting sick and then get sick. March is when I think, “This is the year I will keep Holy Week simpler”, and then have to admit it isn’t going to happen this year. March is when I want to get out in my garden, but promise myself I will not until I get my taxes done (otherwise my taxes would never get done). I am working on my taxes, but still waiting on documents, so you guessed it, I have been out in my garden pruning roses and shrubs. I love the smell of the earth and to dig my fingers into the ground!
My favorite Gospel is Luke. I like the full story with all the details; it seems to say what it means. I find the Gospel of John difficult; it is like a puzzle in a puzzle; like poetry it is not straight forward, but full of hidden meaning. I like puzzles and a challenge so why do I resist the Gospel of John? I feel the need to better understand the Gospel of John so we are studying it in our Adult Christian Formation Class; I have read The Incarnate Word: Perspectives on Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. One thing I have learned is that the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, want us to follow Jesus, to learn from him and to imitate him. The Gospel of John wants us to believe in Jesus, to trust Jesus. Is Jesus human? Yes, how can Jesus understand the human condition if he is not human? How can Jesus understanding and feel our suffering and our joys if he is not human? Is Jesus divine? Is Jesus God? John’s Gospel has Jesus doing many signs: turning water into wine, the healing of the royal official’s son, the healing of the paralytic, the feeding of the five thousand, walking on water, the healing of the man born blind, the raising of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not any ordinary human being; the signs he does show that he must be from heaven. How can Jesus save us from the human condition, from sin and from death if he is not of God? Yes Jesus is divine. I want to get to know John’s Jesus better.
I have been thinking about my Dad a lot lately. He died two years ago April 7th. I am surprised that it is making me feel sad. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I guess Easter will never be the same for me again. No one can tell us for sure what happens when we die. We believe that Jesus died and rose again to new life to remove our fear of death, but what does that mean? People still suffer and die! I do not want to think of my father moldering away in a grave, even if he is ashes on my sister’s table. I prefer to believe that when he died, God sent angels, my Aunt Mary even, to lead him home to be with God that my father rests in peace with God. My father did not want to die, he feared death. What if there really was nothing beyond the grave? My father loved life. Life is a precious gift from God and we should never take it for granted. People ask, “What do you think about abortion or euthanasia or suicide or capital punishment or murder?” I think life is precious, sacred even and that we should never take it for granted. I believe it is important to look at the big picture. If you believe the life of an unborn child needs to be protected than I believe you also need to protect the life of that child once it is born and throughout her life with people to love her, to feed her, to provide clothing, shelter, warmth, health care, an education and an opportunity for a meaning life. I believe the life of all God’s creatures, the environment and our world is sacred and also needs to be cared for and protected. I hope my Dad will be buried this year. Dad may you rest in peace!
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Rev. Darlene Kuhn,
A word from Mother Darlene