Sunday World Topics of Interest

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When people question faiths, I am sometimes aghast. Families and traditions

are part of heritage from generations back. When someone asked me, of a

different faith, “Who ‘made up’ the idea of Palm Sunday?” I had to think back

upon all of my Bible readings and my childhood lessons.

 

Aha!  In, John 12:12-13

(New Testament, Bible):

“They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him (Jesus),

shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the

Lord – – the King of Israel!'”

 

No, this does not discuss or dictate a certain day to take palm

branches and walk through town, or in my family’s church’s case,

through church. It does mention this is a celebration and honoring

someone who we may have strong beliefs in.

 

I was especially proud then, to read that the church I attended with

my three children and my ex-husband, First Presbyterian, Delaware,

Ohio, is going to use “Eco-Palms.”

 

This is part of the Presbyterian Earth Care program joining with

the Presbyterian Hunger Project. These are branches which you

may feel are worth celebrating about. Usually palms are harvested

in rainforests where they make needed habitats for migrating birds.

 

Birds are one of my favorite part of the animal kingdom. The more

fronds or palm leaves taken and cut by the harvesters in the

rainforest, the more desperate a situation it becomes.

 

Eco-Palm harvesters, gather only quality palm fronds in a way that

allows the plants to keep growing. This program is considered a

community process and the way they are trained to promote saving

the plants and the homes of the rainforest birds, touched my heart.

 

The marketing program is what helps the Hunger Project, since it is

one where an agent is handling the sales and providing monies to

capture more of the profits to benefit the native population:  for shoes,

school uniforms, food and basic health care.

 

In addition, a portion of the profits is set aside for providing

scholarships, paying teachers and helping elderly members.

This truly is, ‘Cause for Jubilation’ in the highest form.

 

 

Timothy Merrill gives us his perspective on

always having to Wait in,

 

“The Waiting Game

Life involves lots of waiting. We wait in groups, in lines, in cars.

We wait for packages, for the bus, for the sun to rise.

We wait in doctor’s offices, at the post office, at the DMV

(waiting for license or plates renewals.)

Waiting implies we’re at someone else’s mercy.

 

It is also usually linked to Hope.

 

Perhaps that is why Paul Tillich called ‘waiting’ a “metaphor for

faith.”

 

Why would a person wait if there weren’t the firm belief that the

object of one’s wait will eventually materialize?

 

Waiting can be enervating, which is why in the Bible,

Isaiah 40:31 these words are so promising:

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

 

Yet, waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.

 

That is why Jesus, when talking about waiting, also talked about

working – – “Work for the night is coming.”

 

Sometimes it is less tiring to work than it is to wait.

 

There’s a lot of waiting during Lent.

You’re waiting for a payoff.

You’re waiting for the Resurrection.

You’re waiting for spiritual growth.

And then you realize this isn’t waiting at all.

It’s Life.

It’s Joy.

It’s Opportunity.

It’s Blessing.”

 

Like John Mayer said but may have expressed more

deeply, “That’s why we’re waiting on the World to change.”

 

 

This one focuses on the enjoyable custom shared at work,

in communities or family gatherings. . .

 

“A Potluck of People”

(Taken from March’s “Spire” church bulletin)

 

“At many gatherings for potluck dinners which are meals largely

unplanned, when people bring food to share, usually the main

dishes, salads and desserts somehow balance out.  The fun is in

the variety and mixing together on a plate and the surprise factor

of what is brought to share and contribute to the Potluck.

 

Groups of peoples, churches, communities, families and workplaces

are all “potlucks” of a sort, too. When groups assemble, each person

contributes something unique and sometimes unexpected. When all

is mixed together, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

 

A beautiful balance often results:

One is a good singer; the other writes well.

Some are strong leaders; others dependable team members.

Some are traditional; others innovative.

Combined together, it’s ‘delicious.’

 

Potlucks are sometimes called covered-dish dinners or meals.

But don’t keep your gifts ‘covered.’

Share them because you are a valued part of the whole.”

(Author Unknown)

 

We used to call our country a “melting pot,” which describes how we

were going to blend together.

 

I like to think of the World full of diverse cultures, faiths, histories

of countries as part of a “Human Masterpiece.”

(reocochran, 3/15)

 

When I speak of Lent, Jesus, God, the Bible and verses from it, it

is meant to describe and share the belief system I emerged from.

But any time you see a parallel of your faith with mine, I hope you

will feel free to explain how the theme or subject can be applied in

your family, your church or your culture.

 

Bridging gaps is my goal and focus, when I post something about

faith. I hope you never feel excluded or isolated, since this is not

what expressing my belief system wishes me to do.

 

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16 responses »

  1. We were in Central Mexico on a Palm Sunday when a tour we were on took us by the basilica in Cuernavaca. There is an abundance of palm leaves in that region, and we were witness to a large number of people who wove palm fronds into any number of artistic items laid out for sale on the sidewalk outside the basilica — various sized crosses, fans, birds like origami figurines, madonnas, etc.

    The idea was, of course, to pick an item and make a donation to the artisan. It was a form of begging, but there was no actual hawking of wares or hands held out for money. It was all fairly solemn and rooted in the religious significance of the day. It was clear the palm weavers, mostly women, were poor by local standards, and I had no qualms about making a modest purchase. It was my gift that day to Florence in recognition of her Catholicism and as a gesture of love.

    On your theme of ‘waiting’, I don’t feel like I am waiting for anything any more, especially having just reached the age of 65. I have everything I want and more than I need. – Mike

    • I am so glad you shared this lovely image of people creating art pieces out of palms. As a child, we would make crosses of our palm fronds, which my Mom would put her new one to replace the past year’s one up by her different Catholic prayers. She had her favorite was St. Francis.
      My German Grandmother was Catholic, but her husband was from Sweden and considered himself ‘agnostic.’ My parents went to an Episcopal church, where we wore hats, gloves and genuflected similarly to the Catholics. The rules have loosened up in the Episcopal Church, but it was always nice to have their traditions. As a Presbyterian, I am pleased we have washed each other’s feet, broken bread together and I led a forty days Lenten class for adults in the 90’s.
      Life is still full of times where we wait, sometimes I make time go by, by getting to know the ones in line. Sometimes, like the 2 1/2 hour wait on the highway, we got out of our cars and mingled. When we finally had a chance to move and leave the area, we felt blessed we were not in the smashed up cars that had passengers Life flighted out. So true, how you put it, Mike!

  2. Somehow, ‘waiting’ spoke to me, especially this thought: waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.

    I subscribe to the idea of doing something while waiting. It could be a wonderful opportunity to develop other areas of interest. Moreover, it can make time fly quickly.

    • I take books or my writing pad everywhere, Timi. I do think of ‘waiting’ as a place to use your imagination, if it is in a line or car, where you cannot read nor jot down notes.
      I agree, it certainly helps time fly by more quickly if you have something up your sleeve! smiles!

    • Thank you so very much, Beth! I am glad you addressed the elephant in the room. (Religion is such a touchy subject!)
      I have had some people drop off, I notice sometimes my followers numbers fluctuate. I am not sure if anyone notices when their own numbers go down, since most of us are ecstatic when they go up. One person dropped me,(I am fairly certain) begging me to read more scripture examples she gave to me. Then another was not fond of my same sex stance expressed as, Love is meant for everyone!

    • You have a lovely start to your week, too, Andro! I really liked your recent photographs and your tea party, too. Nice posts to send my imagination soaring. Take care, Robin xox

  3. I like that people come together for pot lucks to share their foods. Maybe the potlucks should also include potlucks of faith so we can share our faiths and be more comfortable with each others beliefs. Doesn’t mean we have to change. We just share in others faith to better know them. 🙂 Wonderful post Robin. 🙂

    • This was such a great idea, Colleen. Next to some international potlucks I have attended, I have seen little placards that mention the ingredients. At my work, I have my filipino friends, but also my friends who enjoy making Mexican dishes and there is my friend, Melvin, whose parents lived on an island. (It is in a post, but the name escapes me of where it was…) anyway, he makes couscous and also, a delicious dessert. Yummy. I have been surprised though of something a little disconcerting about my filipino friends, which I will be posting someday soon.
      Thank you for sharing the meaning of potluck, sharing faiths doesn’t mean we have to change but better know each other. Great way of putting this, Colleen!

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this, I usually try to write ‘original’ material, but when I find something I like the way it is expressed, I will quote it and try to give the source, too.
      Mark, glad you loved the metaphor, it is also special how you mentioned Easter’s approaching. It does add another dimension to the potluck image, doesn’t it? Smiles back at you!

  4. You touched on so many different things in this post. What a great one. I was raised Christian, but not Catholic. I knew about Palm Sunday, but had no idea people actually used real palms to enact the Bible scene. That is astonishing to me. Wow. Thanks for telling the story. I’m glad your church is using Eco palms, because now that I’m aware of this tradition, I’m also thinking of how many palm fronds that adds up to with multiple churches over multiple years.

    The bit about waiting was a great analogy. However, people don’t always wait with total faith, but often with only hope, because standing in line is the only choice. I think of that because two of my favourite bloggers just wrote different posts about trying to get tickets for different events. I imagine there is a lot of hope involved in faith (I can’t say, because I’m atheist). And that makes sense because not everybody is feeling 100% sure about their faith every day…it’s human, and realistic, and totally reasonable to be waiting in hope on some days, don’t you think?

    Also love the idea of mixing people together like a potluck. The idea is so similar to a salad or a mixing pot – and it’s true that part of the delight is in the surprise of what we’re going to get. You have a refreshing perspective.

    • Crystal, so wonderful of you to join the potluck of people here! I am glad you expressed your thoughts about your childhood as raised a Christian, also how you were not aware about real palm fronds being used in services. I am also wondering, just off the top of my head why they cannot grow palm trees for this purpose in California or warmer parts of Florida? I mean providing money for cultures overseas sounds great, but wondering this and am surprised no one else commented about this.
      I had a wonderful grandfather born in Sweden, he was always telling us he was an ‘agnostic.’ My grandmother who married him, (I wrote their love story and called it a European Love Story, sounds like a corny episode of the “Love Boat,” doesn’t it?) Anyway, she was born in Germany and was Catholic. My Mom still has a rosary but liked the more open feelings of my Dad’s church of choice, Episcopalian. So, my two brothers and I were Episcopalians, but one is an agnostic, believes in a Higher Being, like Mother Nature and the other is still Episcopalian. I ventured off when I moved to Delaware, Ohio, 28 years ago. I was a single mother and felt most comfortable in the Presbyterian church. I don’t attend but send money for their projects. I served on all kinds of committees, being a big volunteer kind of person. One thing I liked about them, I respected they were the church that gave the most to Habitat for Humanity and our members are always onthe sites in Delaware. Also, many people have joined who had their homes built by us, so this is a kind of testament, of sorts to the kind and open people our congregation is. I miss having children to sit with me, my grandies are not church goers… My youngest daughter switched to a huge church down in Columbus.
      Anyway, many of my readers are either Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist or ? not sure. I am very happy with the way they sometimes tell me their thoughts about their faith. I also have a nice guy Wyrd Smythe, who is agnostic, I believe.
      I like the idea of Hope being a connector and conduit for all people, which we all seem to wish for each other the best and Peace is one of my favorite desires. We all carry this hope and wish we all could get along! Your last words meant a LOT to me, Crystal! Thank you!

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