Showing posts from April, 2014

Disturbing Promises and Whispered Alleluias

John 20:1-18 There is something wildly out of sync with the gospels' version of Easter and our own. All over the world we’ve got festivals and parades, cantatas and vigils, trumpets and choirs, sunrise services and shouted Halleluiahs!  And we’re not being sarcastic or ironic at all .  Our Easter is brimming with confidence.  Easter is fanfare and glory, flowers and fancy hats; it’s the service that our music minister uses the word “bombastic” about, in a good way.  We Christians do up Easter good. But the first Easter wasn’t that way at all.  And even in all the ways the gospel accounts differ about Easter, one thing that is similar through them all is the hushed, confusing, unsure nature of it.  It’s scary and strange and nobody knows what to make of it. We are all about grand finales.  The giant firework show at the end of the 4 th of July display is how we operate in all things.  Our romantic comedies always wrap up with the wedding, and we’re all a sucke

Good Friday...good?

You asked me today what makes Good Friday good. And I remembered this. Several years ago, when you were just a baby, I was teaching a class of four and five year olds, preparing them to sit in worship with their parents.  So far things had gone fairly well, the wiggling and giggling posse had learned about worship, had sung a few hymns, had talked about baptism and we were on to communion.   Then out of nowhere, little Bria Fisher in all her pig-tailed glory scrunched up her nose at me and shot her hand up in the air and said, ardently and honestly,  "Miss Kara, Why is it a GOOD thing that Jesus died?" Why indeed, Bria! The whole class suddenly stopped squirming and listened intently as I bumbled and stumbled, suddenly starkly aware of the utter foolishness of our claim in faith.   Why is it a good thing that Jesus died? (What was I doing talking about death and body and blood with a room full of four year olds??) It took me a week to have a rea

Palm Sunday Parade

Palm Sunday, by Kai Althoff The Lenten stories of Nicodemus, the Woman at the Well, and Lazarus, revisited by Lisa Larges & Kara Root Matthew 21:1-11 , John 3:1-17,   John 4:1-42 , John 11:1-44 The hallway is decorated for a parade, streamers are across the ceiling, confetti is on the floor. Palm shrubs line the walls, and branches are on the floor.   The congregation walks through the hall to reach the sanctuary, where they for worship. Partway through the worship service, loud, raucous crowd sounds are heard coming from the hallway, cow bells, shouting, cheering.   The sounds of Mardi Gras are seeping through the cracks in the door. The door opens, and Nicodemus slips into the sanctuary.   He is dressed in a professional suit, with an official-looking badge clipped to the front.   In his arms, he holds a sleeping baby.   Nicodemus   Oh! I didn’t realize anyone else was in here. I had to get away! I couldn’t bear it any longer. I’m still one