United   Methodist  Church

200 Turner Road   Middletown, RI


CALVARY

 Thoughts for the journey:


“45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, li, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. (Matthew 27:45-46, 50) After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:1-2, 5-8)


On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. (Zechariah 14:8) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. (John 7:38)”


I have been thinking about the last days of Jesus as a human being. His short life of preparation and even shorter life of teaching, touching and challenge, reflects the life cycle of creation. By that I mean creation births, supports, and then reclaims all living things. All. In that extraordinary span of life, all of creation experiences physical days of rain and days of drought. It means nurturing abundance and desolate fallow. The unique situation for humanity is that this nurture and drought will also happen with our spiritual selves. When I consider these times of up and down for my own faith journey I cannot help but think of this small clump of dried twigs called a “Resurrection Plant” that occurs in nature. Imagine a tiny tumble weed. Starting as a green growth, in times of little to no rain it shrivels and waits. Once rainfall appears, it regenerates and returns to complete health within about three days. See why it has “resurrection” in its name? The living water of creation brings it to full bloom. The prophet Zechariah declares that the flow of God’s living (loving) water will go out in all directions from the center of God’s great mercy and love. John takes up this declaration, using Jesus’ own words, and puts Jesus in the midst of this prophecy. We are often like the little dry plant, in need of deep nourishment and reviving. Maybe, just maybe, we can look on the life, death and resurrected life of Jesus as the message of the little plant. He said there will be times of sorrow, frustration, doubt, apathy that withers our spirits. And he said that if we trust in the freeing love of God, we will be brought to life more abundantly than ever. We are to drink deeply at the well of living water and then we will become ever-green. Hmmm. What do you think? Contemplating this slightly off-kilter suggestion and heading for a glass of water,


Pastor Laurie