It's is not just Lent at Zion. It is Lent with redwoods on the ground. Three deaths in three weeks, and Friday's is shaking us all up. I began worship this morning by making sure visitors and longtime members alike felt welcome to grieve and weep during the service. You don't have to know this redwood or this congregation personally - we're all grieving layers of things all the time - but you do need to know that you are all welcome at the table where we will feast with all of the redwoods you've lost. You do need to know that these candles lit are flashlights for the darkness and the Holy Spirit gathered each of us together this morning with something in mind - whether or not we can name that something.
I was too broken to preachy-preach this morning, but I eeked out a letter to Jesus. I stood in the pulpit, where I rarely stand these days, and read it with a shaky voice and watery eyes. I read it to people who wept with open confidence in their doubts. I read it to people who cried for all kinds of things. And it felt damn good. And then, tonight, I added the word "shitty" toward the end because that's just what it was missing.
Sometimes things are not okay. Jesus knows that in Luke 13:1-9 and gets into the thick of it anyway. Thank goodness.
How could this happen?
And how can we shelter ourselves and his kids and everyone we love from this kind of sorrow? How can we protect ourselves from this kind of suffering?