A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week, Earth Day and Why I Feel Silly

Couldn't get one to pose in a car or wearing boxing gloves.
Earlier in the week I was reflecting on the fact that most of us, if we attend church at all, will jump right from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  Seems like something is missing there, huh? Hard to celebrate Christ is risen if we skip over the fact that He died.  So, I wanted to write about Good Friday.  But, that seems like such a heavy topic and I like to have a little humor in this blog so that people might actually want to read it.  I needed a little bit of something to give us all a good chuckle before diving in to the Passion of the Cross.  As they say, "The Lord will provide." Here is a little humor at my expense:

Last weekend while trying to put an ear tag in a cow's ear, the cow threw a fit and swung her big, hard head right into my nose.  After I could see again, I assessed the damage: little blood, no black eyes, must be okay.  Later in the week I looked in the mirror and discovered my nose was crooked.  Long story short, a couple doctor visits later I learned that my nose has always been crooked.  Funny how I never noticed that in the thirty-some years I have had this nose.  Apparently the swelling accentuated the crookedness.  Do I feel a little silly?  Yes.  Am I glad I didn't have to have my nose reset?  YES!  In case any of you are worried about the cow, she is fine.

In the process of all of this there were several times when I had to tell the story of what happened to my nose.  At first I thought this was a relatively cool story.  Better than "I tripped over my own two feet, " or "I walked into the wall" (not that this has ever happened to me).  However, after trying to explain to a few people and seeing their reactions (definitely not "wow, isn't she cool"), I shortened the story to "I got hit by a cow."  Then images flashed through my mind of a cow in boxing gloves or a cow driving a car (was it a DUI, Driving Udder the Influence?)  Next, I thought of someone scolding me, "I realize you are upset at whoever hit you, but that is no excuse for calling her a cow."  So, after that, when someone asked me what happened and said, "Was it an accident?" I just said "Yes."  I did have to explain what happened on a the form I filled out for the doctor.  I suppose it is now officially in my medical records that I was injured by a cow.

Moooooving right along.  All this silliness seems a bit inappropriate for Holy Week.  But that's the thing about Holy Week: it is set down right in the middle of our ordinary lives.  Life goes on with bruised noses, births, deaths, tragedies and joys.  Even on the original Good Friday, when Jesus hung dying on the cross, people around the world were experiencing life as usual.  Someone somewhere was laughing.  Someone was being born.  Someone was buying shoes.

This year Good Friday even coincides with Earth Day.  Life and green living go on.   I have read several blogs trying to mesh Good Friday and Earth Day together by writing some version of "isn't it nice that Christians now care about the environment too?"  Not that I disagree, but I think this fails to take either Good Friday or Earth Day seriously.  There is a deeper and more profound connection.  Good Friday is when God meets all the pain, sorrows and heart wrenching longings of the world and claims them as holy.  Earth Day is intended to draw attention to the crisis our environment faces which jeopardizes creatures, humanity and life as we know it.  Romans 8:22 says, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains..."  Creation longs to be freed from sin, death, and decay.  Our souls long for a time when death will be no more.  The world, for all its beauty and flashes of brilliance, is not all it is meant to be.  Humanity, for all its great acts of love and kindness, is mired in sin and sorrow and far from fulfilling its promise.  Our hearts and souls long for things to be different.  And so Christ died for the sake of all of creation, suffering agony, abandonment, and death so that the longings of our souls and the groans of creation will one day be satisfied.  This is God loving God's creation wholly and deeply.  This gives us hope even when we stumble.  This gives us hope even when all seems lost.

In the words of the old hymn: "Sometimes it causes me to tremble...."

Blessed Holy Week to you all.

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