Last Sunday, as we followed our Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, we heard shouts of "Hosanna," that he came in the name of God, and as King David's heir. Jesus' popular acclaim made the civil and religious authorities truly nervous; what were they going to do with him? We also heard the answer to that question last Sunday: They were going to have him killed.
On three Holy Days, we make the journey from Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples, to his arrest at Gethsemane, to his abuse before religious and civil authorities, to his agonizing death on Calvary, to the tomb, and then after a day of quiet, the emptiness of the tomb; and, we reach with Jesus, the new Risen Life, to which he invites us all.
This Maundy Thursday morning, we learned that the Lent Madness 2017 "Golden Halo" goes to Episcopalian Florence Nightingale! Through this absurd Lenten ritual, I have again become more aware of, amazed by, and grateful for the "great cloud of witnesses" who surround us all. Of the other "faithful four," I knew of St. Stephen -- deacon and the church's first martyr, but not of Austrian conscientious objector and Nazi martyr Franz Jaggerstatter, or of devout Episcopalian, temperance and women's equality advocate Amelia Bloomer. By following Lenten Madness, I learned that in serving her patients, Nightingale recognized she was serving God: “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit?"
As the Spirit leads us through these three holy days, I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
In faith and hope,
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