On Maundy Thursday we remember how Jesus solemnly shared Passover with his disciples but was soon to be cruelly crucified. He typifies our human condition of both love and undeserved suffering. We’d all like to skip the crucifixion and be done with the pain and humiliation, but God’s mystery is greater than our understanding and/or desires. The writers and sermonizers in this issue ponder our own groans of despair and pain.
Listening to the Voices of the Silenced
By PJ Scarr
The challenge is whether we move toward that society or get stuck in the depths. We are in a story with a very long arc, somewhere in an unsteady forward moving spiral with our past and future ancestors. Thus, we must reject the idea that somehow justice will trickle down. We can’t be apathetic or let our fear immobilize us. We owe it to those who came before us and who will come after.
Listening to the Groans of Creation
By Sr. Deborah Lockwood
St. Francis loved creation, really loved creation like a person loves a parent, a brother, a sister. He saw the glories of creation and at the same time, he heard the groaning of creation. Today as I sit with an atlas on my lap and move my finger from east to west, I ponder how I am attuned to the earth’s groaning that has become ever more intense in recent years. I muse and converse with creation…
The Groaning of Creation
By Rev. Dr. Cynthia Walter
We tend to think that everything being OK is normal, but it’s not. Suffering is normal. Creation will suffer as long as anything in it deviates from God’s way of redemption, and it’s obvious that there’s a lot out there that still deviates. If not for God’s promise of ultimate salvation, and the belief that God is constantly at work to perfect the cosmos, the suffering would be hard to bear. But we do have the promise. And we have each other. And the companionship of all creation.
On Not Burying the Dead
By Jeff Reimer, Associate Editor, Comment Magazine
How the Valley of the Shadow of Death Changes You – and Doesn’t
Why is it that without death one misses his life? –Walker Percy
Seeking: Who will we listen to?
By Rev. Anna Traynham
Now I See
By Debie Thomas
Or maybe “change” isn’t the right word. I’ve heard people use the word “apocalyptic” to describe what life feels like right now, and I’m wondering if that’s the better word. After all, an apocalypse, rightly defined, is an unveiling, a revelation of things previously unseen or unknown. Maybe the world hasn’t changed so much as it has been exposed, uncovered, made plain, laid bare. Maybe we were blind before, and the time has now come to see.
Care for Creation in Appalachia
By Donna Becher
Can we include care for creation as a spiritual practice,
a way of life that asks God how we (together!) can nurture and support all God’s creation?
Stewardship, A Call to Attentiveness
By Cindy Boland
Every summer I plant a vegetable garden and the only real effort required of me is to place the seeds in the ground and attend to their growth with a watchfulness toward those plants that may struggle. To water them, fertilize them, prune them, and pull the weeds (remove the obstacles of growth). At the end of each summer, I am awed by what comes forth.
My Vocational Journey
By Rev. Robin Blakeman
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Genesis 1:31 NIV
Creation of the Crocodile
By Sr. Irene Zimmerman
“I began to experience something of the God-Mystery on the Iowa farm where I grew up,” Sister Irene explains. “Breezes rustled the drying corn or moved across fragrant hay fields. Plants rooted, sprouted, bloomed, gave fragrance in spring and food in autumn in the form of apples, cherries, peaches, potatoes. The animals sharing the turf with me offered eggs, milk, butter, meat. They used their unique voices—they peeped, clucked, crowed, squawked, chirped, mewed, barked, mooed, whinnied, snorted—to tell me of God’s creativity, generosity, humor, beauty.”
Franciscan Sister Irene Zimmerman shares poetic images of God from both the Word and the World, her verse illuminated by passages from the Bible.