Lectionary Reflection: Holy Thursday

Exodus 12.1-4, (5-10), 11-14; Psalm 116 1-2, 12 – 19; I Corinthians 11.23 – 26; John 13.1-17, 31b – 35.

One way to think about these readings is to assume that we hear them at a Holy Thursday Eucharist, the first of the three central days of the church year, the first of the two central Eucharists of that year.   In this, as with all Eucharistic celebrations, we are gathered to listen to and proclaim God’s word as well as to thankfully call upon the Spirit to transform us and our gifts into Jesus Christ’s body and blood as unsurpassable nourishment for our journey toward God’s new heaven and earth.   In this light, how do the readings shape what we do here? Continue reading

Lectionary Reflection: Ash Wednesday

Readings: Joel 2.1-2, 12 – 17 (or Isaiah 58.1-12), Psalm 51.1-17; 2 Corinthians 5.20-6.10; Matthew 6.1 – 6, 16 – 21.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  One meaning of “lent” in Latin is “spring”, but the Church’s Lent turns the usual clichés about spring emerging from the dark of winter on their head: Lent is a time of repentance, beginning with the priest or minister marking us with ashes in the sign of the cross.  Just when we thought we were slowly but happily emerging from dark winter days, a vicious flu season, and even football, we are asked to repent.  In some ways, the timing could not be worse.   Continue reading