Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Maundy Thursday

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John 13: 1-21, 31-34

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

For me, this just may be the single most important narrative in all of scripture. Read it through two or three times — read it out loud, pause where the words strike you, mark them up as I have done here. 

Here, right here, the truth of the gospel is both told and acted. These words come before the Great Commission, remember, so I think it’s fair to say that these words must be heard whenever we read the end of Matthew. Why? Because this right here is the heart of ‘evangelism.’ 

This is it. How do we witness to a watching world? 

BY LOVING ONE ANOTHER WELL.

Man, are we bad at this! We nitpick, we criticize; we finagle, we maneuver; we talk behind the scenes, we let hypocrisy reign; we backstab and abandon. Sigh.

I get it, I do. There are factions within christendom that embarrass me, to tell  you the truth. Sometimes, I have my doubts that they’re actually following the same Jesus I am. And  yet . . . And yet. Like it or not, they’re part of the broader family of God. Double sigh.

And do you see that Jesus’ definitive statement about his own glory comes here? AFTER he has bound his waist, bent down and washed their feet. Not after feeding the 5000, not after healing the leper, not after raising Lazarus. After humbling himself before his brothers. 

Teach us humility, Jesus. Help us to be willing servants, not slaves or dupes, but servants. Help us to agree with you that washing one another’s feet is enough — no full bathing required! So help us to set wise limits, but help us to begin with an open and willing heart. Thank you.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Holy Wednesday

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John 13:21-32

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

The lectionary this year is choosing John as the narrator for the events of Holy Week. I love John, I’ve studied John, yet I remain mystified at points along the way. This story is one of those points. I sorta get the first part — Jesus is feeling the weight of what is to come and feeling it even more strongly because of the betrayal of one of his own. Simon makes eyes at John as if to say, “Get him to tell you more. Who is this betrayer?”

What gets to me in this narrative is the fact that Jesus gave him the answer. At least as we read it here, it could not have been more clear: the guy who gets this soaked piece of bread, he’s the one. And yet. . . no one gets it. 

Sometimes we can’t handle the truth. Judas was one of the gang, the one who handled all their money, no less. Surely, Jesus got it wrong. He’s just going out to purchase supplies, right?

No, not right. Dead wrong, in fact. And with Judas’s departure, Jesus turns completely mystical and utters some of those words that John alone gives him, words that go around in circles. But words that usually have something to do with glory. That’s one of the things that I love about this gospel. John has had time to digest all of the events he has witnessed. He has read the other gospels. He has worked to build the church for decades and now, he wants to write it all down. But it doesn’t come out like the other three, does it? It is a theological reflection on the story of Jesus and it is filled with mystery and wonder. Only John uses the imagery connected to ‘glory’ to help us understand who Jesus is and what it is Jesus is doing. 

There is so much more going on than we can see. So much. 

Lord of Glory, give us eyes to see. Help us to hear the echoes of heaven in every word you utter over these last days of the journey. Help us to see and to hear through the lens of glory, to know that what you did was intentional, generous, inclusive and altogether wonderful. Thank you for choosing to move through your fear and disappointment, for choosing to show us that suffering can be redemptive, transformative. For willingly laying down your life to say, “Enough! Sin and death do not win.” Thank you.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Holy Tuesday

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John 12:20-36

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

From ‘my soul is troubled’ to ‘he departed and hid from them,’ this small chunk of the story is laced with sadness and with reality. What Jesus is facing is difficult in the extreme and he is increasingly aware of the cost of it all. I cannot imagine it, to tell you the truth.

There is the gift of the heavenly voice and the encouragement that brings, and there are the words of admonition from Jesus that ring true right down to this moment in time . . . “walk while you have the light.” 

All of it it focuses us on the road that remains, the last leg of this long and arduous journey toward Calvary. 

Lord, help us to stay with you. Every step of the way.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Holy Monday

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John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?”  (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Another one of my favorite stories in scripture — this Lenten season has been filled with them. This was the story for my first sermon, ever, back when I was a beginning seminary student. The text itself was from Mark, not John, and in that version, I was particularly struck by this line: “Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Jesus’ terse response of, “Leave her alone,” is almost as good! In Mark’s version, this event happens at the home of Simon the leper and the woman is unnamed. Here, she is his good friend, Mary. And the gift she gives him is priceless, more valuable than any other item ever mentioned in connection with our itinerant, sandal-wearing, lived off the offerings of wealthy women followers. They followed after our Jesus, the teacher — now on his way to becoming Jesus, the savior.

Welcome to Holy Week.

Loving God, help us to keep our focus on the road you walked this week, to remember each piece of the story, that story that we have told and re-told, over and over again. Thank you, thank you, for it.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to Calvary: Palm Sunday

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The Liturgy of the Palms

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
    O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
    and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
    up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
        and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
    Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Does this Sunday ever strike you as peculiar? One week before the Resurrection, this festive occasion unfolds before us. And Jesus has special knowledge, he expects it. Somehow, he realizes the coming parade will fulfill the prophecies from the psalms and the prophets and everyone and everything needed will be supplied. It’s mysterious, when you think about it. It tells a powerful story of mob fickleness and of fast changing public opinion with devastating results.

It also stands as a stark reminder of the truth, doesn’t it? Jesus IS worthy of palms, and branches, and clothes strewn in his way. He chooses, however, to enter town on an ass, not the colt of a king. Always choosing the humble way, even as he sets his face toward Jerusalem and the parade, and the suffering and pain that will follow. It’s a remarkable story, one I never tire of hearing . . . or telling.

Thank you for our story, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for us to be made new, thank you for modeling what a truly human life looks like. And thank you for choosing to show us how suffering can cleanse and restore and renew. We love you and we think about your journey a lot, especially as we move into the week ahead.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Nine

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Lamentations 3:55-66

I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, “Do not close your ear
to my cry for help, but give me relief!”
You came near when I called on you;
you said, “Do not fear!”

You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.
You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;
judge my cause.
You have seen all their malice,
all their plots against me.

You have heard their taunts, O Lord,
all their plots against me.
The whispers and murmurs of my assailants
are against me all day long.
Whether they sit or rise—see,
I am the object of their taunt-songs.

Pay them back for their deeds, O Lord,
according to the work of their hands!
Give them anguish of heart;
your curse be on them!
Pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under the Lord’s heavens.

It must have been a gray day when Jeremiah wrote these words, don’t you think? And somehow, they’re appropriate for this day before Palm Sunday. With the deep understanding he had gained about the reasons for his trip to Jerusalem, Jesus must have been more than a little bit pensive about it all. It would not surprise me to discover that he spent time in the scroll of Lamentations as he readied himself for the events of what we call Holy Week.

These words, along with the psalms of lament, are beautiful gifts to us. They give us language when we can’t find the words, when we’re feeling overwhelmed by life, when we’re feeling lonely, forsaken, overlooked, persecuted. And I understand the longing for pay-back expressed in that last stanza. Oh, yes, I do! But you know what? These kinds of words (they’re called ‘imprecatory’ in biblical circles) are useful for us, as well. They give us permission to speak ALL of our truth in the presence of God. To get down and dirty, to let our anger and our hurt feelings hang out there, flapping in the breeze of God’s goodness and grace.

These are not the only words, nor are they the last ones. But they’re good ones. They remind us that God sees us as we are and invites us to be real when we’re speaking with him. I’m thankful for that truth.

Thank you, Lord, for permission to be who we are. All of who we are. And thank you that harsh words are never the last words in our scripture. Thank you that forgiveness comes, that you supply it in abundance. And that you expect us to practice it, too. Help us to follow your lead — thank you for giving us space to let it all hang out. But then help us, O Lord, to let it all go and to move forward in love.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Eight

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Philippians 1:21-30

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

 So these are the lines that stand out to me on this reading:

“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”

And:

“For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well . . . “

And both of those lines are sometimes difficult for me to read. I know, I know. That first one is a verse we all memorized, back in the day. And I love the sentiment behind it. But I gotta be honest here, friends. It is sometimes really, REALLY hard for me to believe that ‘dying is gain.’ I know I should. And on my best days, I think I do. But you know what? I love my life, even when it’s difficult. I’ve had a rich set of experiences over these years, made some deep relationships. I adore my family, even when they make me crazy, and I think this planet is the most amazing thing ever.

So, I must admit that it is often difficult for me to grasp Paul’s meaning here. And then I read that second line, about the ‘privilege’ of suffering and I begin to catch a tiny glimpse of why the first line was written after all. We have no idea what it means to suffer because of our faith. NONE. Despite the political rhetoric that might try to tell us that Christians are persecuted in this country, there is simply no comparison to what the early Christians, or even what many Christians in other places experience today. We all suffer, yes, we do. But we don’t necessarily suffer in the way Paul did. Apparently, the Philippians were beginning to get a taste of that kind of struggle. And Paul tells them that it is a privilege. Wow. I have a lot to learn, don’t I?

Ah, Lord God. I am grateful for the life I live here in the US of A in the 21st century. I am grateful for the ways in which my faith is not only encouraged, but appreciated in this day and age. Maybe I’ve missed some really valuable lessons because I’ve never been imprisoned, beaten, tortured, or otherwise mistreated because of Jesus. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the live you’ve given me and ask your forgiveness for my lack of faith and for any short supply of empathy I carry for those who truly do pay a price for following after you. Remind me to pray for those who struggle in this way.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Seven

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Philippians 1:1-11

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”

Oh, to have such a prayer prayed over me every day of my life. And you know what? I think this is pretty much what Jesus says for each one of us, continually. That we would be full-up with LOVE. Love that is knowledgeable, filled with insight, love that helps us determine which way is right. Love that produces righteousness, NOT the other way around. Do you catch the big difference that makes?? We get so hung up on doing and being right, when we should put the horse before the cart and learn more and more about love. There is a reason that Jesus tells us the world will recognize us as true followers by how well we love one another.

And so often, we do such a rotten job of it. We are operating out of fear and feelings of inadequacy far too often, afraid someone else is going to be better liked than we are, that their voice will carry more weight with the larger body. We are quick to judge, to exclude, to label. What if we chose to love first, every time we were with one another?? Love.First.

Wow, I think the church might actually be the church if we could ask for the power and grace to do that!

Lord, teach us to love. To love honestly and well. To love first, last and always. Not that loving well doesn’t sometimes involve ‘speaking the truth in love,’ but that we would always, always, ALWAYS remember that there is no truth without love. It cannot be heard unless it is conveyed to us through the eyes, voice and words and of love. Help us to look to Jesus as our model, our example, our true-blue lover, par excellence. Thank you.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Six

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Matthew 22:23-33

The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.”

Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.

Always trying to trip Jesus up. If it wasn’t the Pharisees, then it was the other important group-within-a-group, the Sadducees. They were the ones interested in ‘the law,’ sometimes described as ‘teachers of the law’ in scripture. And they did not believe in a bodily resurrection. So they decided to hone in on that doctrinal issue and see if they couldn’t stump the teacher.

No such luck. They took a fine point in the law – the levirate marriage succession, wherein a widowed woman became the wife (or the property?) of her former husband’s brother – and came up with the most complicated scenario they could devise, sure that they had finally found a way to make this popular teacher fumble and bumble his way to an answer.

As always, Jesus turns the tables. He didn’t just do it literally, you know. He did it all the time with these pesky questions, and today’s little vignette is a particularly interesting example of that technique. Not only does Jesus affirm his belief in a resurrection, but he fills in some blanks about that transformative new life that awaits us after death. Not sure if this means we’ll be asexual or just unsexual, but it’s surely different from this life, isn’t it? And then he pulls the rug right out from under them and asks, “Why do you keep talking about the resurrection of the dead?? We serve a God of the living!”

And that is just about the finest and simplest expositions of the doctrine of bodily resurrection I’ve ever read anywhere.

Thank you, Lord, for the promise of eternity. We don’t understand it — something we share with the Sadducees of the first century! But we trust that you DO understand it and that you’re speaking truth to these trouble-makers. Thank you for always telling the truth, even when we try our best to trip you up. Thank you for making it simple and for keeping the main thing, the main thing.

Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Thirty-Five

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Psalm 143

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
answer me in your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

For the enemy has pursued me,
crushing my life to the ground,
making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.  Selah

Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Save me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.

For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life.
In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
and destroy all my adversaries,
for I am your servant.

For me, a level path is critical. Since my foot surgery almost three years ago, I’ve had problems with balance. Add to that the fact that neither of my knees works terribly well, and you gotta know that level is what works best.

Here are the lines that speak to me on this reading. Please share any that speak to you today in the comments.

“Let your good spirit lead me on a level path,” the psalmist cries. And I join in the cry — in a very real sense as well as a metaphorical one. There are other lovely phrases in this song, too. What are some of your favorites? Here is a list of mine:

“give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness” — Yes! God is faithful.

“Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.” — Yup. I feel like this on a regular basis, especially in the current political climate.

I meditate on the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land — a sturdy metaphor that has been part of my daily life during the years of this long drought, a picture that I hold within my heart of my need for the refreshment of the Water of Life.

Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul — “new every morning,” right? Yes, Lord, help me to hear of your love every new day and to trust in it and in you. Teach me the way. . .

You are the Master of the Path, whether it’s level all the time or not. Help us, Lord, to look to you, to tell you the truth about how we’re feeling, and to trust that you are here, right here, with us in the midst of it all, joy and pain, laughter and sorrow. Thank you.