Preparations for death, blessings as we get older in our faith, and places where we need to find Jesus were talked about at our most recent Sunday Meetings. We’ve been focusing on a lot of pain and suffering during this season of Lent and trying to understand the generative processes that can arise. Let’s hope and pray for a new creation sprouting up in ourselves and around us as we journey toward resurrection.
Listen below to the latest talks and ponder our thoughts with your own in this post’s comments or at a Sunday Meeting or Cell. (And for more talks visit here.)
At 1125 S. Broad St.
Katie Pinder speaks
Jesus faced his death and moved towards it. What does it look like to face our death and move towards it? Why should “resurrection people” prepare themselves for death? This talk focuses on Jesus’ predictions of his death in the Gospel of Mark and his disciples responses to his predictions, exploring our own tendencies towards avoidance and how dying always comes before resurrection.
At 2007 Frankford Ave.
Gwen White speaks
“What do you do if you can’t find Jesus in the regular places?” We can take comfort in our own limits of parenting as Jesus’ own parents lose him for three days while travelling (Luke 2). Jesus was asking and teaching. While most of us have the instinct to be frustrated, Mary treasures up things in her heart. Perplexity can be a good place to dwell. It’s different than being crushed. If reading the Bible brings up damaging scripts (failure, worthlessness), do something different to relate to God. “Often enough, when we think we are protecting ourselves, we are struggling against our rescuer.”– Marilynne Robinson. Teresa of Avila’s Advice: “A little straw put there with humility…will serve the purpose and help more to rekindle the fire than a lot of wood.”
At 3800 Marlton Pike
Rod White speaks
Rod tells the story of the blessings he received in his decades of faith. He distills some wisdom about what blessings are essential for keeping the faith in the different stages of our lives. As a child we need affirmation of our faith, as a teen we need the facts so we can act on them, in our twenties we need community with which we can identify, in our thirties we need integrity despite the many temptations, in our forties we need the passion to do our best and be our best selves. This message really stokes your spiritual imagination. How will I get from here to there? How will I become a fifty-year-old Christian?
At 2309 N. Broad St.
Anna Psiaki speaks
Suffering is an inevitable and necessary precursor to death. In Mark 8:31-38, 9:30-32 and 10:32-34 Jesus foretells his death and resurrection to his disciples so they might be prepared. They instead avoid his words, opting for politicking and plans of grandeur. The disciples are good examples of how the refusal to suffer makes death seem not what it is meant to be (a temporary stop towards rebirth), but instead something much worse (the crumbling of a dream for salvation).
If we are willing to suffer, we will become more vulnerable and present: it’ll be easier to let what needs to die, die, as a way of ending our suffering. We’ll also help Jesus (metaphorically) prepare for his death in the suffering and death of the ‘least of these’ among us, whom Jesus always identifies with (truthfully: all of us). Lastly, if we let ourselves suffer, we’ll allow for us to be present to one another in our brokenness: a community that can suffer together could die and rise together.