No Rest for the Weary?

Inspired by Acts 3:1-10

Alright, so we are done with the Gospel of Mark! I hope you have enjoyed our journey with Mark this year, and even if it’s not your favorite Gospel like it is mine, I hope you can at least appreciate why I hold it in such high esteem. The next Gospel we will be reading through will be the Gospel of Luke, but we’ll have to wait until the end of Advent before we start that. But never fear, we will have plenty to sink our teeth into until then. First up, between now and the Day of Pentecost, which falls on May 31st this year, we will be spending some time in the early days of the church. We’ll start with some readings from the book of Acts and end with some passages from two letters, Thessalonians and First Corinthians. Then, this summer, we will have three series, five weeks in the book of Job, five weeks in Second Corinthians, and then we’ll end the summer with a four-week series on the Lord’s Prayer from the Gospel of Luke. So, that’s what we have planned for the next four months! I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!

But right now, we are in the book of Acts, chapter three specifically. We skipped chapter one, and chapter two we will be reading on the Day of Pentecost because that’s where that story occurs. Like the Palm Sunday story, we read it out of chronological order, because the church year doesn’t always line up very nicely. The Easter season is actually fifty days long but there’s really not that much story to fit into the fifty days between Easter Sunday and the Day of Pentecost but it is what it is. We really haven’t skipped all that much. Chapter one begins with the risen Christ ascending into the clouds and ends with the followers picking a replacement for Judas, who had committed suicide after handing Jesus over to the Jewish leadership.

Chapter two is mostly the events of Pentecost, followed by an impromptu sermon by Peter, and then the chapter closes with these verses, “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.”

The author then moves into our story from chapter three. But I wanted to read those preceding verses to you because I wanted to point out something that will be important later. And that is this, the author is very vague about how much time had elapsed between the events of Pentecost and this story of the Healing at the Beautiful Gate. We really don’t know. Was it days, weeks, months, years? No idea. And I think that’s kind of the point that the author was making by being so vague. It really doesn’t matter for our author. What matters seems to be this quick progression from the Day of Pentecost to this story at the Beautiful Gate. And to help explain why this is significant, we have to put ourselves into the shoes of these first followers of Jesus.

They had just lost their savior. No, they didn’t just lose him, they lost him twice! The first time was when they had to watch in horror as Jesus was mutilated, humiliated, and executed in the most cruel way known to humankind. They were so distraught from that experience that the only thing they could do was go and hide as we heard from Bishop Mark last week. They went and hid in an upper room without any sense of direction, without any hope, in complete and utter despair. Then Jesus is raised, they get him back, only for him to be taken again! Literally wisped away into the clouds! This time he leaves them in a better state, they are no longer in the pit of despair, but we’d be wise to recognize that they had lost him yet again!

Have you ever had a dream of a lost loved one? The dream was so real, it was as if it was really them, that you really got to spend some afterlife time with them, and then you woke up. And at first you’re on cloud nine because of the experience of being with them but then reality sets in like a punch to the throat as you realize it was just a dream. Now, as jolting as a reality check as that is, you still have that warm, comforting feeling of your time with that loved one, as jolting as it is to come out of that you wouldn’t trade it for the world right? In an odd way, it brings both comfort and sadness to your gut. I seriously wonder if that is what these first followers of Christ were going through in these first days, weeks, months, however long it was, of the church. They are no longer in despair, but it all ain’t roses either! They got to see Jesus again, yes, but they also had to say goodbye all over again and I don’t think we should downplay that in the slightest, especially because of this first post-ascension story of the healing at the Beautiful Gate.

So, why is this so significant? Well, because everything is happening so fast. Aside from the fact that we really don’t know how much time has elapsed here, it really does seem like the author wants us to at least feel like not much time has really gone by. And that’s what stood out to me. After everything that has transpired, these first followers barely get a chance to breathe and ministry opportunities are already presenting themselves. They are still trying to figure out how to move forward, without Jesus, and where do they go, they go to church! Well, in this case, they go to temple, but you get what I’m saying. They did what so many of us do when we need guidance, when we are feeling a bit lost, when we are feeling a bit out of sync with God—we go to church! We go to church for some comfort, for some direction, for some healing, for some help, to feel closer to God!

That’s what they did, but instead, what happens first, before they get any of those things that they were looking for? A ministry opportunity falls right in front of their feet. And in the church world, what is the term “ministry opportunity” short for? Work! That’s all it is, if we’re being honest, right! Work! They went to church, to temple, to be fed, to be comforted, all those things we go to church for, only to be given work to do, and isn’t that just like Jesus! I mean, after living with the guy for the last three years you’d think they’d be wise the way Jesus works! They should’ve seen this coming from a mile away! “So, you’re distraught?” Jesus asks. “So, you’re feeling kinda lost?” Jesus asks. “So, you don’t know what to do?” Jesus asks, this time with a wink to the camera. “Well!” Jesus says, “I know just the thing to help you out!” As Jesus gives you a hearty pat on the back and says, “While you’re trying to figure that out, I’ve got some work for you to do!”

Wait, what? That’s never the answer that we’re expecting, is it! But how many times has Jesus done that to us? We’ve lost count! How many times have we felt lost, and the answer is not to give us the answer, but is to give us more work to do and in doing that work, lo and behold, we start to get our bearings a bit, don’t we. We start having these little moments when we think to ourselves, “Oh yeah, that’s why we do this. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why we follow Jesus.” Now, I’m sure we have all experienced this pandemic in different ways but I’ve heard from so many of you that it hasn’t been the vacation that people thought it’d be! In fact, I’m hearing from many people that they are more tired than they have ever been! And some of that tiredness has been thanks to Jesus. Thanks to Jesus saying to us, “Hey, while y’all are trying to figure this out, there’s work to do! And it ain’t gonna do itself!”

The harsh reality to our predicament that we currently find ourselves in is that the needs of the world don’t just stop because life is tough right now. Ministry, aka, work, doesn’t have a pause button. There’s no time outs. And if that doesn’t sound like grace to you, that’s ok. Because I guarantee you, it sounds like grace to those who are in need, to those who are looking at the church to see how they will respond, to those who are thanking God that there are people in this world who haven’t stopped following the ways of Christ just because life is tough right now, who haven’t stopped being kind just because life is tough right now, who haven’t’ stopped being generous just because life is tough right now, who haven’t stopped loving even after it seems like there’s no more to give just because things are tough right now. It is in times like these when the world sees the stuff that Christ is made of. Thanks be to God. Alleluia!


Not Ready For Easter - Sermon for Easter 202 with audio including worship devotional

Inspired by Mark 16:1-8

Picture it, the year is nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. I had been married for a few years by then, had one baby girl, and I was working on an assembly line for a company that made small motors. I had been doing that for a while, but I had just gotten fired. I was angry, scared, and embarrassed. Don't get me wrong I hated that job. It was boring, and I had already been in physical therapy for the havoc that working on an assembly line was doing to my joints and ligaments and posture. Not to mention the fact that it was definitely not a job that was advancing my career choice. But it paid the bills and I was thankful for at least that. At the time, I didn't know what I was going to do. What I hadn't realized was that my time there had been stirring something within me. It was slowly motivating me too get off my butt and go back to school. Though losing my job was devastating at the time, it sparked a new chapter in my life, a chapter that has led to me eventually becoming a pastor. New opportunities, New adventures, new life, was just around the corner, but at the time I just couldn't see it. I was not prepared, I was not ready, nor did I want, to hear any good news. Hold that thought for a moment while we turn to our Bible story for the day.

As many of you know, the Gospel of Mark is my absolute favorite of the four Gospels. The other three don’t even come close. And this chapter, the final chapter of Mark, and our final reading from this book for the year, is probably the biggest reason why it is my favorite. For an event as big as the resurrection of Christ, Mark still only gives eight verses to it. He was unrelenting in his directness, and his efficiency with his words. Mark doesn’t even seem to know the word embellishment, unlike his counterparts Matthew, Luke, and John. He began his book short and sweet, and he ends it the same way. But that’s not why I love this ending but before we get to that, Mark opens this chapter with three women entering stage left. That’s right, the final heroes of Mark’s Gospel are women. Not Jesus, as he doesn’t even make an appearance in this final chapter, but these three women are the final heroes according to Mark.

Now, not to get ahead of ourselves here but you might be thinking, how are they heroes? They ended up running away from the empty tomb scared half to death! Not to mention the fact that Mark says they didn’t say anything to anyone about what they saw and heard! But if we back up a bit, we realize that, one, they’re the only ones that show up. And I probably don’t have to tell you, that a majority of life’s hurdles only require you to show up, and the rest usually takes care of itself. But just showing up can be hard, and can require an amount of courage and strength, that a lot of us have trouble mustering up. But these three women were able to do just that, show up. Two, and maybe even more important than that, they don’t just show up, but they bring a hefty dose of faith with them as well. Mark shares that on the way to the tomb, a tomb by the way that they were expecting to be sealed shut with a large stone, the asked themselves, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?”

Now, think about that for sec. They left on this mission to go and anoint Jesus' body, bringing with them supplies for such a mission that I’m sure weren’t cheap, without securing a way to open the tomb? Some might say that was a bit foolish. I disagree. I think they left there house that day, hoping for the best, and they were able to do that, under the distress from the events of the previous three days. I don’t know about you but I have trouble hoping for the best when I stub my toe, let alone when the savior of the world just got crucified! Others might say that the Spirit led them there because she knew what was waiting for them at the tomb. I’d caution against that line of thinking only because it doesn’t give credit where credit is due to these three amazing women, and their ability to hope for the best and show up, despite the events of the last three days. Let us not take that away from them.

So, these three heroes get to the tomb, see that the stone has already been rolled away, and they see a young man in a white robe who tells them that Christ has risen, just as Jesus told them would happen, and to go and spread the news. Now, here’s where the story really gets interesting and why I love this Gospel the most. And there’s only two sentences left! After being told the greatest news the world has ever been told, what do they do? Mark writes, “Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” They were not ready for good news at that moment. They were not ready to be comforted. They were not ready to get back to work. They were not ready, and so they ran.

How relatable is that! That’s life my friends! And in Mark’s wisdom, and more than wisdom, in his pastoral heart, he knew that this would be good news for us to hear. That even when given good news, even when given an out, even when given an escape route out of life’s darkness, it’s ok to say, “I’m not ready! Give me a moment! I’m so scared I can’t even think straight right now!” Mark knew that they eventually came around and shared this news, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it today, but Mark chose not to share that story, but this one. Because Mark has been telling story after story of all these heroic women, doing all these heroic things, thrusting this story forward, chapter after chapter, and Mark wanted us to know that even heroes need to take a moment sometimes, even heroes can say I’m not ready, even heroes have trouble seeing good news even when it’s staring them right in the face!

I can’t think of a better reminder, from a better pastor, than our beloved St. Mark right now. There are so many heroes surrounding our world right now: doctors, nurses, medical technicians, caregivers, delivery drivers, first responders, even the politicians who are trying to provide relief to us. God bless them all. But there’s an even larger group of heroes that cannot be discounted. And that’s you and I, who have sacrificed our livelihood for the sake of the most vulnerable, and I don’t just mean our financial livelihood but our spiritual livelihood and our emotional livelihood, as we sequester ourselves in our homes, so that others can have a fighting chance to battle this virus. And if you’re like me, when this started, I did not see any good news to share about any of this. Nor was I ready for it. All I could see initially was death, physical death, emotional death, spiritual death. And Mark says that’s ok, but it’s not the end of the story. Mark says that death did not, does not, and will never have the last word. That is the story of Easter for Mark. That it’s ok if you can’t see any good news in the moment of heartache. But it’s there. And it’s ok if you only can see it in hindsight. Because the good news about the good news is that it’s not dependent on our ability to see it or not. It comes no matter what!  Because there is nothing that can keep the good news of Jesus Christ at bay, not a virus, not a government, not a politician, not a religion, not even us and our fears. And that is the good news of Easter that we are called to share whenever we can, wherever we can, with grace for times when we cannot. Thanks be to God! Amen.


Alone - Good Friday Sermon w/worship devotional

Inspired by Mark 15:16-39

Good Friday might not seem like the usual place for a Star Trek reference, but you know me, I can find inspiration in just about anything! One of my favorite Star Trek scenes is from the movie The Final Frontier. Let me set the scene for you, Captain Kirk, Doctor McCoy, and Mr. Spock are on vacation together in Yosemite National Park. Captain Kirk had spent the day doing some very dangerous mountain climbing on El Capitan. So dangerous in fact that he ended up falling, only to be saved by Mr. Spock using some kind of levitating boots. Hey, it’s Star Trek. Dr. McCoy, who was already angry that Kirk would do something so dangerous, is watching all this happen from below and just about has a heart attack thinking that his best friend was about to die.

That night, around a campfire, McCoy lays into him about how irresponsible that was! He says, “Maybe it didn’t occur to that macho mind of yours but you should have been killed when you fell off that mountain!” Kirk replies, “It crossed my mind…and even as I fell, I knew I wouldn’t die…I knew I wouldn’t die because the two of you were with me…I’ve always known, I’ll die alone.” Nothing more is said about it and the movie continues on to their next adventure. But I don’t think it takes a Star Trek fan to figure out what Kirk was talking about. You see, the connection between these three, as friends, as coworkers, spending most of their adult life together, was so strong, that he just knew that there was no way he could die as long as he was with them, his friends, his soulmates.

by Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo 
What struck me this year, as I read this old story from Mark for the umpteenth time was how alone Jesus was when he died. Isn’t it something how you can read a story multiple times and get something different out of it each time? This time it was his aloneness that hit me, and it hit me pretty hard. The accounts of his death in each of the four Gospels are a little different. Luke shares a conversation that he had with a believer who was hanging on the cross next to him. John wrote that Jesus was able to have a conversation with his mother and himself. Maybe it’s also because Mark is so short and to the point, but his aloneness was almost unbearable this time around.

Maybe it’s also this virus that has my heart a little more tender when it comes to aloneness. I was watching the news the other day, something I’ve been doing less and less because there’s only so much your heart can take, and they were interviewing a doctor. He was reiterating just how important it is to follow all the safety guidelines that our government has urged us to follow. And to drive that home, he shared something that he thought a lot of people aren’t realizing about this virus. He said, when people die from it, they are guaranteed to die alone. They will not be able to have any family with them, there won’t even be any skin to skin touch by a doctor or nurse. They will simply die alone. My heart broke when I heard that, and he was right, I hadn’t considered that before he shared it.

I cannot fathom what it must be like to die alone. Just like I cannot fathom what Jesus must have gone through as he died alone according to Mark’s account, without his friends, without his family, without his followers, without his God even. But this I do know—this will not be our fate. On the cross, Christ promised to be with us, no matter what. Whenever my girls share with me a painful experience with one of their peers, I always tell them, “Remember what that feels like, so that you never make someone feel the way your feeling now.” I believe that is why Jesus had to die alone, so that he would know what that feels like, so that he could make sure none of us feel that way, especially when we come to our end. I can’t think of a more powerful way that Christ has conquered death, by conquering the aloneness of death. As you ponder the mysteries of the cross today, know most assuredly that this isn’t one of them. We will not die alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.


The Togetherness Meal - Sermon w/devotional for Maundy Thursday

Inspired by Mark 14: 22-42

I have had some great cooks in my life. My grandma’s tortillas, made with lard, well, only if she ran out of bacon grease that she’d been saving, were the greatest tortillas the world has ever seen. My mom’s chile verde, with ground beef, not shredded, is to die for. My dad’s burgers on the grill are second to none. My wife’s crack cake will send you straight to heaven and back. My daughter Jonah’s pan de muertos made me like anise for the first time it was so good. I’ll stop there otherwise I’m gonna have to stop here and go eat! I have certainly had a lot of great food in my 45 years on this earth. And I’m guessing you have too. However, I’m not so sure it’s the actual food that makes these dishes so memorable. Surrounding all this food are so many great memories, and those memories are filled with so many great people that have graced my life. So, do I like to eat? Sure. But even more than that, some of my greatest memories of my life, are with the people that surround that food, both the cooks and the consumers of their food.

Food has a particular distinction that makes it so special for me though, and I’m guessing that many people of color can say this as well. For me, as a second-generation U.S. American, the food of my culture has been the lasting element that has survived down the family line to me. After our language slowly faded away from us, after our cultural holidays faded or were usurped by American culture, after our religious affiliations slowly faded away, after our cultural apparel slowly faded away, our cuisine has remained a constant—it has not only remained but has kept our family together, and I don’t just mean my family that is alive today, but it has kept us in touch, connected, together, with my family of old, family that is long gone, family I knew, and family I’ve only known through stories shared around a dinner table. As mysterious as it is, food has a way of keeping people together.

I believe Jesus knew this when he gathered those closest to him for one last meal together. It was about more than just that one meal, whether they knew that in the moment or not. But it didn’t take the young church long to recognize that this meal was going to keep them together, was going to nourish them in ways they couldn’t even imagine, was going to be the conduit by which they would remain united. They soon realized that there was power in this meal, and in no time at all, they began sharing the meal every Sunday with each other. And so, two thousand years later, here we are sharing the same meal, the same meal that keeps us together, both with each other, and with two thousand years of generations past, that has kept the meal alive to this day.

In these days of pandemic, the need for this togetherness is more present than ever. In wisdom, our church leaders have invited us to think of this time away from the meal as a fast, which is another sound biblical tradition. But in the middle of Holy Week, and no end in sight of this current crisis, many have decided to celebrate some form of the communion meal virtually with their communities. And I believe that this is because many have recognized that it isn’t the meal itself that is magical, it isn’t the words that are said that are magical, it isn’t where we gather that is magical, it is the power of togetherness that we embody, wherever and whenever we are the body of Christ, through all times and places, united as one. It is a proclamation that this virus, will not have the final say in this body of Christ this is you and I. No, it is Christ who will have the last word. So, my dearest siblings, know most assuredly, that no matter the meal, no matter the place, no matter the time, it is Christ who unites us, and no one or no thing, can take that away from us, not in this life, or the next! Thanks be to God. Amen.


When Love Looks Ridiculous - Sermon w/Sunday Devotion

This week's sermon audio comes with a devotional that includes a few familiar parts of the Sunday liturgy, since we've had to postpone worship services for the time being. I hope this is meaningful for you while we are apart. Stay strong, stay connected, stay informed--as we learn new ways to be the church.

Inspired by Mark 14:1-9

Wow, we are already at Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week! Where has the time gone? Despite this pandemic, which sometimes seems to make time slow to a crawl, time still has a way of slipping past us. As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion recently, reading the story of Palm Sunday today is a bit out of chronological order. As we’ve been reading through the Gospel of Mark, we’ve already past this point of Mark’s narrative a few weeks ago. So, my sermon will focus mainly on the story that I just read to you, rather than the events of Palm Sunday, which I think we have covered enough over the past few weeks, as we have been keeping it in mind as a foundational moment for all that has transpired afterward.

Today, we have come to chapter fourteen, and the story of the woman anointing Jesus. That means there’s only two more chapters left! Mark provides a bit of backdrop for this story. It’s kind of a behind the scenes look, a special feature if you will. Mark tells us that while this story of the woman anointing Jesus was going on, the chief priests and legal experts, aka the pharisees, were looking for just the right time to arrest and kill Jesus. They don’t just want to control him, or discredit him, they want him gone, for good, permanently. However, they were successful politicians as well, and they knew that the Passover festival was just two days away, the biggest festival of the Jewish year, and they didn’t want to create anything that would disturb that or they’d have a riot on their hands. All this is happening apart from the story that Mark shares of the woman anointing Jesus but important to know, especially because Mark is going to contrast it with the following scene. So let’s keep going.

Jesus continues to withdraw to those closest to him, and in this story, he’s in the house of one man. Houses were not very big in those days, especially for the everyday person, and so we are looking at a very intimate setting here. Still bigger than just the twelve disciples and the women but not by much. This Simon, in whose house they are in, has a skin disease, what older translations would call leprosy by default, but any kind of skin disease or irritation or rash would be classified as such. They didn’t take any chances with disease, and so any of these kinds of afflictions, no matter how small got you labeled as unclean, and at best meant you had to be quarantined until a priest could certify you as clean again; at worse, it meant a life of banishment outside the city gates. Like I said, they didn’t play when it came to disease.

So, odds are, this guy Simon, whom Jesus was visiting at his house, was under quarantine. Now that sounds familiar doesn’t it? And in typical Jesus fashion, he breaks the rules of quarantine, and goes to visit him anyway! This may be the one and only time you’ll ever hear me say, please don’t be like Jesus! Stay at home! To be fair, Jesus probably didn’t have Zoom or unlimited texting. So, aside from the fact that Jesus is once again, breaking all the rules, which as we’ve seen, is a pattern for Jesus, he finds himself in the home of Simon the quarantined, and some very interesting things happen while he is there.

by Julia Stankova
So, they’re all eating dinner there, and they’re probably not six feet apart from one another but what are ya gonna do? And out of the blue something extraordinary happens! A woman, who is not named, which is an element of the patriarchal nature of the society of that day, interrupts dinner, and begins to pour very expensive nard oil on his head! For those of you who don’t know what nard is, it’s essential oils! She pours essential oils on his head in the middle of dinner! Now, it’s hard for us to wrap our heads around the significance of this because we don’t really have a real-world example of this anymore, but we have things that are similar. One might be a toast. Imagine sitting at a dinner party, and someone out of the blue stands up, raises their glass, and gives a beautiful and honorific toast to one of the guests, and at the end of the toast, everyone drinks and applauds the now guest of honor. It was kinda, sorta like that, but that doesn’t’ even come close.

She was also proclaiming him as the messiah, the savior, the anointed one, with this gesture. This act of anointing was done to the kings of old, as well as to the prophets. Today, that might take the form of a coronation or an ordination. It was kinda, sorta, like those but still doesn’t come close. As a pastor, when someone is on the verge of death or has very recently died, I do to the person and pray some very specific prayers to commend that person into the hands of God. This was also kinda, sorta like that, but again, it doesn’t come close. What might come close is if we combine all of those into this one act. When she poured those essential oils on his head, it was like a toast and a coronation and an ordination and a prayer of commendation, all rolled into one! That is the closest thing I can describe to you, to express just how significant this one act was.

I also have to pause here and point out that once again, an extraordinary act was committed by a woman. Knowing the patriarchal society that they lived in, which is just a fancy way of calling out the abusive sexism built into their system, this fact cannot be overstated. Mark has already shared with us extraordinary women such as the woman who touches Jesus’ robe to be healed in spite of her own quarantined status, the bold Syrophoenician woman who called out Jesus for referring to her as a dog, the poor widow who gives the last of her money to the temple treasury for the good of the people. And we haven’t’ seen the last of the extraordinary women that Mark wants to share with us! It’s almost as if Mark is pointing out that it was the women in Jesus' life that were driving this story forward! I’m imagining all you women out there listening collectively saying, “Well, duh!” Jesus goes so far as to say, that whenever his story is shared throughout the world for all time, they will also hear about what this woman has done. Jesus, doesn’t say that about anyone else.

But let’s keep going. Not everyone thought this was very extraordinary. In fact, they thought it was wasteful, they thought it was selfish, they thought it was a poor use of resources, that they thought it was downright ridiculous. And you know what, it’s hard to say they were wrong! No matter their motives, especially because I’m thinking this was his own followers that were saying this, it’s hard to disagree with them! Unless you’re Jesus. He tells them to leave her alone. He tells them that there will be time to serve the poor, but there won’t be time to do what she has taken it upon herself to do, to proclaim him as the honored guest, as king, as messiah, as priest, as lamb to the slaughter, as savior. And to those looking on, that’s just ridiculous!

Love often looks that way doesn’t it. Sometimes love just looks ridiculous. For instance, who would ever think that sequestering yourself at home, staying away from other people, would look like love? And yet, here we are, doing just that, not because we’re done with the world or because we’re feeling anti-social, or if you’re like me and we’re allowing our inner introvert to run wild, no it’s none of those things is it. It’s because this is how we are being called to love one another right now, as ridiculous as it may look, this is what love looks like. Keeping people safe, keeping people healthy, giving doctors time to tend to the most vulnerable, we’d all agree that those things are what love looks like, we just never imagined it would mean putting ourselves in quarantine. A few months ago, we would have scoffed at such a ridiculous notion!

There are so many other ways that love can look ridiculous. This week, the most holy of weeks, I encourage you to ponder the many ways that love looks ridiculous in your life. Maybe it’s while you're on your knees washing the bathtub for the umpteenth time because no one else wants to do it, even though you know they can; or cooking dinner after working a ten-hour shift when everyone else at home has just been sitting there; or playing piano to a virtual audience; or calling people you’ve never met before to check on them; I could go on with all the ways that I see how ridiculous love can look but I encourage you to think of some of your own, and while you do, thank God for how ridiculous love can look. Amen.