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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.