During this holy week, the Rev. Dr. Paul Reiter (our Spiritual Director in Residence) is leading a brief service of Scripture and Meditation, Music, Art and Poetry in the Meditation chapel at 10:00 a.m. This morning we were encouraged not to rush through the week.  Rev. Reiter shared a reflection from Rev. Mike Rayson, Co-Superintendent Minister of Thrive Church, Granite City, IL.  Rev. Rayson is Paul’s spiritual direction companion. Here are some of his thoughts from his Facebook post today: “One of the questions I am regularly asked in life is… ‘What’s the biggest difference between the US and Australia?’  Ok, it usually comes out as, ‘Which country is better?’, but that’s not the question I’ll go on and answer. It’s ‘rush’.  (No, not the awesome band… the other rush).  How fast can you make it from point A to point Z while missing most of the 24 waypoints in-between! Americans live at twice the speed of Australians – or at least it seems that way.  They take fewer sick days when they’re truly sick and fewer vacation days even though they’ll lose that time off after a defined time period.  It’s a rush to get up, and a race to the finish line. If you have locked your eyes on a resurrection already, then you are either in a ‘rush’, or you’re a pastor! Holy Week is not a sprint; it’s 8 days of complicated journey… You can’t … rush … holy … week.  You just can’t.  Each step along the journey is integral to the narrative that unfolds around you… It’s ok to take the time to feel beaten up and exhausted over these 8 days.  To rob yourself of this complicated journey is to rob yourself of life itself.  I’d go so far as saying the resurrection of Christ makes absolutely no sense without the complicated mile between 2 Sundays. In our rush, we often miss out on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday night vigil services because they don’t make us feel as good as Palm Sunday and Easter morning do.  They’re not supposed to.  Authentically lived, this journey seeks to destroy you and everything you think you know about life, love, death, and eternity.  To rush on by these hard waypoints is like going to the supermarket for your evening meal.  Like, literally walking into Walmart with your knife and fork in hand.  Why bother paying for your food, taking it home and preparing it when you can just go to the one place that has everything you need?!… Tend to each ingredient this week.  Allow yourself to experience the gut-wrenching betrayal of Jesus, the anger that wells up in the disciple who draws his sword, the helplessness you feel watching your closest friend and most intimate soulmate be abused and mistreated by a bare-knuckled violent encounter with the state and the church… attend to each of these things. If you don’t rush through this week, Sunday is still going to come.  Sunday always comes.  But Sunday is better experienced as the resurrection of all things rather than just the annual renewal of some things.”

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 42:4
“He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.”

Reflection Questions:
What do you yearn for?
What are you doing for that to happen?

Blessing for Holy Monday
May the path that Christ walks to bring justice upon the earth, to bring light to those who sit in darkness, to bring out those who live in darkness, to bring out those who live in bondage, to bring things to all creation, may this path run through your life. May you be the road Christ takes.  Amen.