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Dear Friends,   

Conspire.  The literal meaning of the word con-spire is to breathe together with.  For our Holy Week journey, we invite you to breathe together with Jesus.                     

An important way of taking on Jesus’ Spirit, his way of being in the world, is to breathe together with Jesus as he walks through these events of the last week of his life—take on his feelings, meditate on his mindset.  For instance, on Monday we heard about Jesus in the home of his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Mary anoints Jesus with precious ointment.  Jesus seems to revel in that.  When Judas protests that the precious ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor, Jesus says, “Leave her alone, she had to keep it for the day of my burial.  The poor you always have with you, you will not always have me.”   Do we likewise speak up when someone is being put down?  Jesus also models good self-care here, being a good receiver of the kindness of another.  How do we do at taking care of ourselves in the midst of taking good care of others.  

Tuesday we hear about Peter—how he loves Jesus.  When Jesus says, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.”  Peter responds, “Master, why can I not follow you now ? I will lay down my life for you.”  Jesus gently says, “Will you lay down your life for me?  Amen, amen I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”  We all know the rest of the story, Peter does deny him three times.   And then when he hears the cock crow, he realizes the truth of Jesus’ prediction and goes out and weeps bitterly.  We, too, have probably shrunk back from the truth to save our own neck sometime.   The striking thing is that Jesus does not let Peter’s shortcoming get in his way of continuing to cherish Peter as leader of this motley crew of disciples.   And so forth through the other events of the week, breathing together with Jesus to take on his mind and his heart--his way of being in the world as a model for our way of being in the world.  

Jesus prays an amazing prayer from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Note that Jesus does not say, I forgive them; he prays as a prayer for God to forgive them.   What can we learn here about forgiveness, about letting go, about praying to God for those we want to forgive?

Jesus needs you and me to breathe together with him through these harrowing happenings so that he isn’t left alone when the disciples fall asleep when his heart is breaking in the Garden or when they all run away when he is hanging on the cross breathing his last.  Like him, we, too, have probably prayed that some “cup” (that we didn’t choose) be taken away and we be spared of it.  Like him, we, too, might have wondered where God is when the going gets rough.  Jesus models for us trusting that God is on our side, saying together we will get through whatever comes along.  God please bless us with this ever deepening trust, unshakable trust—trust that brings the joy that runs deep, the joy of knowing that we are God’s Beloved and that we are commissioned to help each other get home together.

Jan Richardson conspires with us conspiring with Jesus:

Blessing for Holy Monday

May the path
that Christ walks
to bring justice
upon the earth,
to bring light
to those who sit
in darkness,
to bring out those
who live in bondage,
to bring new things
to all creation:

may this path
run through our life.
May we be
the road Christ takes.

As we enter into Holy Week, we invite you to come and to walk with us at The Spirit of Life.  You will see days/times on the attached flyer.  At The Spirit of Life, we work together in prayer and companionship to loosen the attitudes and brokenness which can hold us bound.  We believe that God’s desire for us is that we be “Whole” and thus “Holy”… full of life , unfettered by life-destroying prejudices and free to move openly as the Spirit calls us.  Our belief in the sacredness of all created beings and loving relationships compels us to respond with care and compassion to all who are marginalized in our church and world.  We invite you to come and to pray with us as we “do our own work” in growing into a deeper awareness of our own gifts and ‘growing edges’ and together create a community that invites diversity and honors the uniqueness of each individual and every journey.  We are confident that you will feel welcome in the “home” of The Spirit of Life. 

Praying that you and your loved ones see days filled with light and love and wonder now and forever! 

Ron & Jean