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Good Friday 2021

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  For Good Friday this year and conscious of so much suffering in the world today, here's some words by Michael Mayne that I find helpful: "Only the Passion and death of Jesus can reconcile those two apparently irreconcilable truths: that God is in love with us, and that at some point in our lives we all experience suffering, pain and dereliction. Either God was not in Christ and the Cross is the ultimate symbol of all the meaninglessness that can destroy us, the absence of God, the triumph of the secular powers. Or God was in Christ and the Cross is the final word of a God who shares the pain and the dirt, the loneliness and the weakness, even the frightening sense of desolation and the death we may be called upon to experience ourselves. That was the audacious claim of the first Christians, that God is now reveraled as the one who pours himself out in love, a serving, foot-washing, crucified God, whose love cannot be altered or diminshed." Micheal Mayne, A Yea Lost and

Palm Sunday shouting

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Between parades We're good at planning! Give us a task force and a project and we're off and running! No trouble at all! Going to the village and finding the colt, even negotiating with the owners is right down our alley. And how we love a parade! In a frenzy of celebration we gladly focus on Jesus and generously throw our coats and palms in his path. And we can shout praise loudly enough to make the Pharisees complain. It's all so good! It's in between parades that we don't do so well. From Sunday to Sunday we forget our Hosannas. Between parades the stones will have to shout because we don't. Ann Weems, Kneeling in Jerusalem (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994) p. 69 Image Credit: Palm Sunday, a painting by African artist Evans Yegon

How did Mary mother of Jesus get pregnant?

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Today is the Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin May, celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans and some other churches on 25 March each year. In England this used to be New Year's Day until 1752. It is also called 'Lady Day'. It is an approximate pregnancy length of time from the next Christmas, when Christians celebrate Jesus' birth. Today is about the Angel Gabriel’s astonishing announcement to Mary that she was to bear a son, to be called Jesus, who would be 'great'. You can read the account in Luke 1: 26 – 38. Today's feast gives me an excuse to share a memory of a visit my husband and I made 3 years ago to the Marienkapelle, a church in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany . We were with a small group being shown around the church by a knowledgeable and entertaining local guide. Towards the end of the tour he asked us, 'how did the Virgin Mary get pregnant?' Somebody said 'by a miracle', another said, 'by the Holy Spirit&