Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ash Wednesday – A, B, C

Ash Wednesday – A, B, C

Years A, B, C
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

Entreating someone on behalf of Christ may have some power, if there is a relationship with said Christ to begin with. For someone outside the fold, this doesn't carry much weight. Sort of like an Ayatollah imploring President Bush for the sake of Muhammad to be reconciled to Allah the Merciful that he might become righteous.

Then we get to the personal entreaty of what I have had to deal with. Because of my faithfulness, you, also, ought to be faithful. Again that has some strength or is rather weak, depending upon the relationship.

Seldom, it seems, do we entreat on behalf of a joy to come. Usually we are operating out of the past and trying to make the present conform to it. On Ash Wednesday we may want to simply have space for folk to remember their fondest dream of how life might work well for all concerned, what has gotten in the way of that, and how this might be a moment to shift gears by practicing that which move them one step closer to a better future. Nearly two months of practice might get us ready for an Easter, Transfiguring, Transforming, Resurrectional reality.

This practice is based not only on what others have found helpful down through the year (that's a pretty wide spectrum of spiritual disciplines) but which of those best corresponds to the person's experience and tendencies. If it doesn't touch some base inside, all the appeals to external authority will simply be appeals that don't appeal.

= = = = = = =

gee, mom, you have done so much
have I learned enough that we can talk?
this guilt of not measuring up is pretty strong
do we go to our respective deaths this way

hey, dad, you know so much
have I done enough that we can rest?
this regret of not measuring up is pretty strong
do we go to our respective deaths this way

Jesus, Paul, you have done so much
have I obeyed enough to be righteous?
this accusation of not measuring up is pretty strong
do we go to our respective deaths this way

[second lines based on a song by Greg Brown, Driftless on his CD The Poet's Game]

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