April 8, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 8, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “From Blaming to Forgiving”

Our most painful suffering often comes from those who love us and those we love. The relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, teachers and students, pastors and parishioners—these are where our deepest wounds occur. Even late in life, yes, even after those who wounded us have long since died, we might still need help to sort out what happened in these relationships.
The great temptation is to keep blaming those who were closest to us for our present condition, saying, “You made me who I am now, and I hate who I am.” The great challenge is to acknowledge our hurts and claim our true selves as being more than the result of what other people do to us. Only when we can claim our God-made selves as the true source of our being will we be free to forgive those who have wounded us.

Today’s prayer comes from Jamie Lynn Haskins, Chaplain for Spiritual Life at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

A Prayer for Holy Week

God of death and resurrection, God of the space between, we have walked this Holy Week road before, but never quite like this.
As always, palms are behind us, shouts of “hosanna” ringing in our ears. As always, we look toward your death with grief, your resurrection with great hope. As always, you are here with us through it all. Yes, we have walked this Holy Week road before, but never quite like this.
This year nails will pierce the cross, and we will mourn in our homes rather than in our pews. This year your body will be placed in the tomb, and we will await word from those faithful women as we shelter in place.
This year, resurrection will come (it always comes) and we will shout “hallelujah,” rejoicing in our living rooms, across computer screens, over conference lines, because this year, as in every year, you are still with us.
Yes, we have walked this Holy Week road before, but never quite like this.
May we remember, Holy One, that in every familiar and unfamiliar step, every “hosanna,” every “hallelujah,” every Zoom call and every text, you are with us.
As we walk this Holy Week road remind us– in death, in resurrection, in joy and grief, in the unknown and the liminal space between, you are still our God, and we are still your people.
Resurrection will indeed come.

Back to Non Sequitur today. The first cartoon was picked out for me by the parsonage cats, Polly and Einstein. The second reminds us that, however things may appear, evil is always on thin ice.

Today’s links! 

As long as we’re on a cat theme, see how well you do with this challenge from our friends in the UK.

Scientists converted the “amino acid sequence and structure of the spike protein of the pathogen of COVID-19” into music. It’s strangely beautiful.

Our last two links show that quarantine can drive folks to do some strange things. Actor Jack Black’s quarantine dance is quite the hit on TicTok, while this man takes dad jokes to a whole new level. (Thanks to Cathy Koch for the link!)

Stay safe and stay well!