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Easter, a rubbish dump, and some women disciples

Easter is just around the corner and marking this dark mystery beckons us again.

Each Easter time, I find that the passion narratives draw me in. I pause, I wonder, and I imagine the story unfolding in Jerusalem.

Reading helps me to understand more of this experience.

This year, it is women and their customary role of attending to the dead that has caught my attention.

A proper burial was of utmost importance then. To quote Kathleen Corley, a scholar whose work I am delving into, ‘Going without a proper burial was horrifying in antiquity.’

Donald Trump, Easter, and violence

Recently, Donald Trump announced plans to slash $54 billion dollars from the US overseas aid budget. The money saved will be redirected to the military to ‘make America great again.’ If passed by Congress, there will be even more funding for weapons, training soldiers and the deployment of violence.

How readily we accept preparation for war. How easily violence is encoded into religious stories about life and nation.

Wholehearted

I have been thinking about the quote that I shared in a blog recently from Theodore Roosevelt: entering the arena… daring greatly. (The full quote is available at http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html )

The quote has caused me to reflect on some memories, and it has become clearer that when I have entered the arena, it has been a transforming experience, a spiritual experience.

Hard choices

‘Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem’ (Luke 9:51)
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As I write today, we enter the season of Lent. We begin a journey to Jerusalem with Jesus, which he instigated with a resolute decision, ‘Jesus set his face.’

This was a hard choice, and it is not immediately apparent why Jesus took it.

According to Luke, in Galilee where Jesus began his ministry, it prospered. The locals were receptive to his message. He formed a movement of willing volunteers, who were inspired by his teaching about the coming kingdom of God.

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