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posted Mar 25, 2013, 8:58 PM by Uumc Topeka

Beloveds,

As I write this, we are at the beginning of Holy Week.  As I look forward to the events of the upcoming week, I find myself still experiencing  the power of Palm/Passion Service on Sunday morning and the previous evening’s celebration of Dick Driver’s life and home-going. Both services, though very different from each other, were deeply moving, filled with awesome music and life-giving words, beauty and pathos, compassion, sorrow, trust, hope, and joy.  The Holy Spirit guided both services and was a palpable presence. How grateful I am for each person who participated in the shaping of these services, who, together, created a holy space in which all those who came would find blessing. I am always moved by how the unexpected and the familiar work together to move us closer to God. The Bible tells us that God is changeless, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But it also tells us that God says, “See, I am about to do a new thing!”  I know that people who came to Dick’s memorial service were comforted and inspired to hear “I Come to the Garden Alone,” and “Amazing Grace,” even as they delighted in the fact that in celebration of his birthday, purple, orange, and white balloons adorned the sanctuary.  On Palm/Passion Sunday, we began with the traditional joyous procession of palms, but the service also included the more unusual extinguishing of the lights, and the shrouding of the cross in billows of white fabric. At the end of the service, in the dim light and with the music of lament still reverberating in our hearts, we left the sanctuary in silence.

As we move now through the wonder of the Easter Season let us keep in our hearts these two ways in which God continually blesses us: through that which is familiar, trustworthy, tried and true…  and through that which is unique, surprising,  utterly astonishing in its freshness and newness. That which has never been experienced before.  That which might even at first upset and disturb us as it presents us with the unexpected, the reversal of everything we think we know.  Welcome to the Resurrection.