Dear People of God at St. Luke's,
Greetings in the closing days of Lent. Perhaps you've been following the daily videos/meditations and weekly activities provided by the Marks of Love teachings from SSJE. Maybe your observance has taken different shape. Or maybe this year Lent just meant one more potential demand in a life already so demanding, that you chose to give up Lent for Lent. There have been a couple years, to be honest, that that's what I've done.
This is my last Lent and Easter with you all. I'm doing some looking back as well as forward. One sort of subtle but real expression I've heard as a transplant to this area is a colloquialism, that in conversations about perhaps difficult or complicated matters people capture it all by the word 'situation.' If you're from here, you've probably not noticed it. "Well, it's a situation." "I'm in this situation at work." Not everyone uses it, and the use is just not on the south shore. I've noticed that on local news stations when on the scene reporters get stuck or are extemporizing, they'll resort to 'situation' for lack of any other word.
For someone coming from elsewhere, it's kind of fascinating. I moved from the southern Ohio area at 18 to school in Texas, where all sorts of verbal quirks and expressions are employed. Of course where I grew up, there was no such thing.....
'Situation' I've decided can be a great word, not by any means a sign of folks being tongue tied, inarticulate, or limited in vocabulary. First, it is dynamic. Situations are all about interactions with others, changes underway versus the status quo, attention getting rather than routine.
So here's a situation: each of us knows we need something from others, and the really lucky ones know that we need something from God, which invites the real need to give to God and others in this cycle of love and service. This is not meant to be an exclusionary, holier-than-thou observation. Rather I mean this as opportunity for spiritual growth as part of life growth. Some may not even call the same reality as 'God,' but love, compassion, self-giving, self-care, and the knowledge that this life journey will take us further in and further up to quote C.S. Lewis.
My situation is that I'll be having my last Last Supper with whomever might attend the Maundy Thursday service. I'll be proclaiming Jesus' resurrection with you on Easter. The promise inherent is the best situation we might hope for this year, for eternity. Recently I've had the privilege again to hear some specific struggles from some households. Life can dish up some very hard realities. God brings life out of death, light out of darkness, as we deal with the real nitty gritty of negotiating our lives. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it with you.
Bidding you deep peace and joy,