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Pastor’s Pen

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

                           Psalm 118:24

Living in the now with gratitude provides the antidote to suffering. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? You’d think that living in the past or the future or anywhere other than right now would be preferred when this very moment seems too hard to bear.

The chief characters in the Jesus story provide insight into this surprising truth. In the days to come we will recall the events of the final week of Jesus’ life. We’ll catch glimpses of his best friends scattering like cockroaches in the light. We’ll listen as one by one the disciples betray him, hide, or deny they ever knew him.

We get it. Witnessing the world as we know it unravel before our eyes and not be able to do anything about it seems too much to bear. A few women apparently thought otherwise. Women prepared the last supper, served it, and no doubt cleared away the dishes. The women stayed at the foot of the cross while Jesus was tortured to death. The women showed up at first light the next morning to take care of his body.

The world has changed since then of course. The men of our church would no doubt cook dinner for Jesus and his friends if he showed up today, gluten free and sensitive to Peter’s nut allergy.

Regardless of where we stand in relationship to this story, Jesus called the question in his final week on our fearful attachment to both the past and the future. The Psalmist doesn’t say: “There went the day the Lord once made.” Clinging to bygone days, we miss the moment when Love needs us to show up most. The Psalmist doesn’t say: “Here comes the day the Lord will make.”

Cherishing our plans for the future distracts our capacity to see the fullness of life already at hand. No matter how fantastic or fatal this present moment may seem, it will soon pass. Don’t miss it. This is the day the Lord has made. This is the only day we have. This is the only day that matters.

Prayer: Precious Holy One, grant me the courage to lean into this present moment, and to surrender to your love whatever the past has wrought or the future may hold. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland