Broken, Exposed, Resurrected: A 12 Step Journey thru Lent – Risk

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A painting of a chalice, a small loaf of bread, and a Bible on a red background with the words, "Remember Me" in yellow. Image courtesy of M. Harris via Pixabay.

What are we willing to risk in order to embrace and embody Love? What do we need to let go of? What do we need to enter into?

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Even though it doesn’t quite feel like spring outside, it is April. We are in the midst of Holy Week. Our Muslim siblings are observing Ramadan. Our Jewish siblings are celebrating Passover. These days are sacred. The possibility of new life is all around us, just waiting for the moment to blossom.

Before we get to new life, though, we are invited to bear witness to humanity’s betrayal and rejection of Love. Many of us would rather skip today and tomorrow and go right to Sunday. If we don’t pause to contemplate how we participate in the betrayal and rejection, though, we do ourselves a disservice. Pausing, noticing, bearing witness – these are an essential part of this week and of Christian faith. It is uncomfortable and challenging, and necessary.

What are we willing to risk in order to embrace and embody Love? What do we need to let go of? What do we need to enter into? Where are we needed in service to the most vulnerable among us? These aren’t easy questions for us as a community or as individuals. Yet, if we are to be the Bodymind of Christ in the world today, seeking the answers to these questions is essential.

Perhaps we will encounter them as we wash one another’s feet (or hands) tonight, remembering Jesus’ act of service to his disciples. Maybe it will be in the sharing of bread as we remember Jesus’ last meal with his friends, and the betrayal that followed.

If not tonight, then maybe tomorrow as we bear witness to the coming night during Tenebrae, remembering the bleak despair and grief of the crucifixion. What do these long-ago acts mean for us now? What do we risk in order to follow Jesus all the way through to Easter morning? Do we have the courage to let these events change us?

These are heavy questions in an intense time. If you are overwhelmed this week, and this feels too much for you to enter into on a deep, spiritual level, it’s okay. We go through this week as a community. Breathe deeply and allow yourself to be held by Love. Your hands don’t always have to be doing the work; sometimes your hands just need to be held.

May we all find the courage and grace to authentically experience the challenges and blessings of this Holy Week.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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