Field trip

Off to Atlanta for a combination family vacation and mini civil rights pilgrimage, something of a continuation of my journey through Lent with Layla F. Saad’s “White Supremacy and Me” workbook. 

Seems appropriate, since Atlanta was the place where I first became aware of race in a way that I still vividly remember. There had been two black girls in my elementary school on Long Island; there were none in my school in Atlanta. I also observed the” white” and “colored” water fountains and restrooms in public places and thought them silly, but I couldn’t see the sinfulness in the segregation of a (faith-based, no less) school. 

Not too surprising, since I was only 8 at the time, but I’m still learning to see what what I didn’t notice until others helped me expand my vision.

Love one another

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

~ John 13:34, from the reading for Maundy Thursday.

Still thinking Maundy Thursday thoughts about love here on this final day of waiting for Easter.

As that last meal begins, Jesus lays aside his outer garment, ties a towel around his waist, and begins to wash and dry the feet of his disciples. When Peter resists, Jesus tells Peter that if he can’t accept this act of love and care, “you have no share with me.”

Love can’t fully flourish except in relationship, and sometimes we—like Peter—find it even harder to accept love than to offer it. To let yourself be loved, you have to make yourself vulnerable. Opening a channel for love means revealing parts of yourself you might rather have kept hidden. It means admitting how much you need that love. It means acknowledging that you can’t make it on your own.

From Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as partners: “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value … to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.”

That is exactly what grace–the lived experience of God’s love—does for us.

The season of Lent is meant to help us let go of our resistance and and accept God’s love more and more.

So that when Easter dawns we can take up that challenge, to love one another, “just as I have loved you.”

A sermon for Maundy Thursday

As that last meal begins, Jesus lays aside his outer garment, ties a towel around his waist, and begins to wash and dry the feet of his disciples. When Peter resists, Jesus tells Peter that if he can’t accept this act of love and care, “you have no share with me.”

Love can’t fully flourish except in relationship, and sometimes we—like Peter—find it even harder to accept love than to offer it. To let yourself be loved, you have to make yourself vulnerable. Opening a channel for love means revealing parts of yourself you might rather have kept hidden. It means admitting how much you need that love. It means acknowledging that you can’t make it on your own.

From Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as partners: “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value … to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.”

That is exactly what grace–the lived experience of God’s love—does for us.

The season of Lent is meant to help us let go of our resistance and and accept God’s love more and more.

So that when Easter dawns we can take up that challenge, to love one another, “just as I have loved you.”

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Shad fishing

Shad fishing at Lewis Island, the last commercial shad fishery on the upper Delaware. I love shad season. As a photographer, that is. I love that there is this little bit of local culture that persists even though there are so many easier ways to get some fish. It’s beautiful to watch the group of effort involved in pulling that seine net out and around and back in again every evening. 

The only thing I still don’t understand is, who really wants to eat a shad, anyway?