Texts: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11
What was Jesus thinking
On the road down from Jericho
That passed through Bethphage and Bethany.
That led to Jerusalem
To the mighty Temple
And to the Passover feast.
I always look forward to Holy Week. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday. Even as a child I did. So it’s not one of those quirky things that just comes with being a pastor. Sure, it’s a week of solemn and tragic events. But through the course of the week, as I attend to the story of Jesus going to the cross, the story tends my soul.
Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 5:5-10; John12:20-33
You never know when synchronicity will happen. When things come together in unexpected ways and become an opportunity for insight. For me, it’s having the story of Jesus in the last week of his life, embracing his death, while I contemplate the last days of my own mother’s life.
Dear Beloved of God, I share with you that my mother Phyllis came to the end of her baptismal journey this past Sunday afternoon [March 14, 2021]. When the time came, she was ready to go. I am grateful for the show of support from this community: prayers for Phyllis, kind words, time saving meals and treats delivered to David and me. For all the caregivers at the Village at the Harbour and the folks at Hospice. And for the ones who sat with Phyllis, and were there with her as her end neared. She asked that we celebrate her life later on when we can gather safely.
Texts: Numbers 21:4-9; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21
Over and done. The Israelites were ready to be over and done with the wilderness. They wanted rest from uproar and flight, fear and conflict. All they wanted to do was to safely touch down on the land God had promised them.
Texts: Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22
Lent is generally accepted as a time for introspection. On the surface of things it’s about the common themes of the commandments, wisdom, and worship and spiritual life. But Lent is more than a time of thoughtful study. And the driving backbeat behind the scripture texts is a question: are you becoming the glorious creation that God has made you to be?
A Pastoral Reflection, The Third Week in Lent, The Umpteenth Week in Official Pandemic Status — March 5, 2021
This week I learned that a pastor known to some in this congregation—Deb Benson—lost her eighteen-month battle with cancer Tuesday evening. She was a gifted colleague, friend, and all-around good person who loved God, life, and the church. Sadly, Deb was several years away from retirement and has been eagerly looking forward to that time in her life.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.