Sunday, April 19, 2015


Two years ago today, with most of the Boston area shut down, a friend in the year above me at college asked on Twitter, "Is there a precedent that says Boston will be okay?"

I replied, "Today is the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. As someone who grew up in OKC, I believe we'll be okay."

Today it has been twenty years, and it has been two. April 19th for me will always mean Oklahoma City, will always mean 168 seconds of silence at 9:02 am CDT, but I was far too young to remember. Two years ago, I was here, not so far from Boston. I don't know how I could forget.

It's important to remember. But what came out in my friend's question was hope for recovery, and as Easter people our hope is not only for recovery but for resurrection. I grew up in a city that was and is living out a resurrection story.

We are changed because new life is indeed new. We do not forget, but we grow and we live.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Learn of Christ to Bear the Cross

One of my favorite Holy Week hymns (and I love a lot of them) is "Go to dark Gethsemane" by James Montgomery. At Tenebrae tonight we read from St. Augustine's treatise on the Psalms in which he writes about understanding the trials of the psalmist and joining the psalmist in those trials through prayer:"Let us now see under what evil he lies; and when he begins to speak, let us place ourselves beside him, that, by sharing his tribulation, we may also join in his prayer." That really reminded me of this hymn; the last line of each verse focuses on something we can learn from Christ in the experience of Holy Week.

Go to dark Gethsemane, 
ye that feel the tempter's power; 
your Redeemer's conflict see, 
watch with him one bitter hour. 
Turn not from his griefs away; 
learn of Jesus Christ to pray. 

When Christ went to pray, he told Peter, James, and John also to watch and pray that they would "not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) The disciples fell asleep time after time, but Jesus prayed and grieved through the weakness of the flesh. Christ did not sin, but he was tempted as one of us. One of the readings from the Letter to the Hebrews tonight emphasized this: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)